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TASC NEWSLETTER  February 2014    

Hello Friends!

We have a very important date for you:

Wednesday 19th March

Jonathon Porritt, at the invitation of Together Against Sizewell C, is coming to Suffolk to give a talk about nuclear power on Wednesday evening 19 March. It is entitled ‘Why Nuclear Power Still Makes No Sense’.

Come to the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew, IP17 1LL (just off A12). If you arrive at 6.30pm you will be offered refreshments.  It will start at 7pm and is free (though donations always very welcome).

Full details: 01728 830965.

Put this date in your diary now!  As you may know, Jonathon is one of the UK’s foremost environmentalists and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to come and speak to us.  Don’t miss this important event and persuade your family and friends to come along too.

SIZEWELL A and B

The Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, along with some members of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group, have persisted in expressing their concerns about cracks in the pressure vessels of two Belgian nuclear reactors, which have designs just like Sizewell B.  They have been demanding that B should be closed for a full inspection to ensure that it also hasn’t suffered from similar cracking.

The date for the next routine inspection of Sizewell B isn’t until 2016, another two years away.  Yet the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has refused to bring the inspection forward despite very real fears of possible damage.

The ONR has finally agreed, after a great deal of pressure, to hold a public meeting to inform us all why they will not be inspecting Sizewell B for possible cracking until 2016.

ACTION: Come to the ONR’s meeting and show your concern: 18.30 refreshments, then 19.00 start, Leiston United Church, High Street, Leiston (parking behind by Coop), on Wednesday 5 March.

Proposed SIZEWELL C/D nuclear power stations

On Tuesday 21 January, approximately 30 TASC members attended a meeting with Mark Wilson of the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). Mark made a presentation outlining the different stages of the planning process for Sizewell C & D, after which there was an opportunity to ask questions.

The meeting was extremely useful as it helped us to understand at least some of the intricacies of the infrastructure planning process.  Here is an outline.

Pre-application:  This is the phase we are in currently.  Mark emphasised the importance of influencing EDF Energy in its decision-making now. After the application goes in, it is really too late for people to make a difference to it.

Local Authorities:  They are statutory consultees and must submit a Local Impact Report.  Any concerns we have about EDFE’s consultation process should be reported to the LAs with a copy to PINS.

Preliminary works applications:  These are reviewed and granted by the LAs.  (It was interesting that M.W. said he ‘wished EDF wouldn’t do this’, i.e. deliberately exclude these from the main application.  Our LAs have already granted permission for the cutting down of trees, relocation of various species, drilling of bore holes etc.  It looks like development consent by stealth.)

The Development Consent Process: Mark explained that this may begin some time next year, most likely mid- to late 2015.  This of course will be after Stage 2 Consultation which is planned for this autumn.  The application will go to the Planning Inspectorate, hundreds if not thousands of pages of documents, and there will be just 28 days in which to accept it for examination or not.

Registration:  There will be an interval of six weeks only in which people can register their interest.  If you do not register at this time, you cannot take part in the hearing.

The Preliminary meeting:  This will be held locally.  The purpose is to set up a draft timetable, giving deadlines for written representations and hearings.  No other issues will be discussed.

The Examination: Only six months are allowed for this and must be strictly adhered to.  The written submissions will be examined, and then the Inspectors will decide what further information they need.  The Hearings will therefore be driven by the Inspectors’ questions.  Replies are limited to 3 minutes per individual, 10 for groups.

    A report will be written by the Inspectors along with a recommendation to the Secretary of State.  There will be a further three months in which a final decision will be made.

Judicial review:  There will be only six weeks in which this could be requested.

Who are the Examiners?  These will be Senior Planning Inspectors who may not know anything about nuclear power.  For the Hinkley Point C inquiry there were five, including a lawyer, town planner and experts on transport and the environment.

Licences:  Various bodies, including the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organization, Office For Nuclear Regulation and Natural England, have to agree the granting of licences, without which the development cannot go ahead.  These lie outside the Examination.  Any concerns we have with such issues must be taken to these bodies.  We are already actively involved in these dialogues, but must do more.

ACTION:  What are your worries and concerns about the proposals for Sizewell C/D?  Have you contacted EDF Energy or any other organizations about them?  Please let us know what replies you have had. 

   Do you need help with objecting or do you need any further information?  If so, we can probably assist, so do ask.

TASC Meeting with JLAG (Joint Local Authority Group)

On the 10th February 12 TASC supporters finally met with members of the Sizewell C joint local authority group (JLAG). The JLAG was established In January 2012 in order to facilitate a joint local authority approach to the Sizewell C proposals. The group consists of members from both Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) and Suffolk County Council (SCC). The meeting had taken 6 months to organise as a suitable date was tricky to pin down.

Among the JLAG members who attended were SCC and SCDC Heads of Planning and SCDC Chief Executive and Senior councillors including the Leader and deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal District council.

We asked questions about the democracy of the JLAG, the access of the public to their meetings and minutes, and the input and access they had to the information from the edf consultation process.

All the TASC members who attended thought that the meeting was worthwhile. A report will be posted on the tasc website in the near future (apologies for the delay)

Meetings with the Environment Agency.

The environment agency has been holding a series of meetings over the last week or two to in order to discuss peoples’ fears of coastal flooding. TASC supporters attended the meeting at Snape on Thursday 20th.

It would appear after talking to the environment agency representatives, that they are in agreement with many of our views on coastal erosion and the possibility of flooding of the Sizewell site. TASC supporters urged them to make this absolutely clear during their input into the consultation.

Sizewell C Posters

We have got some great posters to distribute to anyone who wants to show their opposition to Sizewell C.  These posters come in various sizes, and if anyone would like one to display in a window, please contact Joan Girling on 01728 830965 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TASC Nuclear Farce

In response to the current nuclear farce, TASC supporter Thea Smiley has written a nuclear farce. If anyone would like to read it, or take part in a local rehearsed reading, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK Public Subsidies for New Nuclear Power

The government has tried to argue that no subsidies will be given to new nuclear power stations. This claim is disputed widely, and the EU has launched an investigation into the funding plans.

Regan Scott has written a précis of a seventy page formal letter sent by Brussels competition officials to the UK government about the Hinkley deal with EDF. This précis is on the tasc web site (tasizewellc.org.uk/the issues), and makes for a very interesting read for anyone who doubts that the public is getting a good deal.

TASC Website (www.tasizewellc.org.uk)

We are keen to have copies of letters and articles TASC supporters have written for the local press or parish newsletters. We can put these on the web site to enable other local people to hear our arguments. The specific knowledge of the Sizewell area and the impact two new reactors would have upon it is invaluable, because a lot of information on the internet that relates to nuclear power is general in nature. We remove all personal details from the letters.

In addition we can advertise local nuclear power related events on our web site if people email the details to us.

DIARY DATES 

Office for Nuclear Regulation: Report and presentation to the public on the cracks in the Belgian nuclear reactors.  Wednesday 5 March, 18.30 refreshments for 19.00 start.  Leiston United Church, High Street.  (Parking behind by Coop.)

BBC Horizon Film: ‘Fukushima: Is Nuclear Power Safe?’ 

7.30 pm Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Aldeburgh.  Free Entry.

Next meeting of Suffolk Coastal FOE:  Monday 7 April at 7.30pm at The Old Coach House, Cransford, Nr Framlingham, IP13 9NZ. Tel: 01728 663359.