This Time it’s Water or rather Lack of it!

EDF have announced yet another consultation, running for 3 weeks from 3rd to 27th August, this time it’s …Where’s the water coming from? 

One would think after nearly a decade of  planning and many questions on ‘Where’s the Water coming from?’ EDF would have this sorted but NO. Northumbrian Water/Essex & Suffolk Water have announced they cannot supply the ever increasing amounts of water needed to build SZC and will need several years to install over 20km of piping from the River Waveney to the site.

We all know East Anglia is one of the driest areas in the country and members of TASC have been posing the question for years, see our response to Deadline 2. As far back as Jan 2017 The Economist published an article on mains water at SZC, it makes for an interesting read, then as far back as 2010 TASC’s own Joan Girling was asking the very same question ‘Where’s the water coming from?’ Beccles & Bungay Journal.

So after all these years and half way through the DCO process, EDF have come up with the need for a ‘temporary’ desalination plant. We ALL need to respond to this consultation as desalination plants come with yet more environmental problems for both land and sea. TASC are putting together a response to the consultation which we will share with our supporters in the coming days.

Points to make in your response.

  1. Sizewell C cannot be built or run without sufficient potable water. Tell EDF just what you think to this late consultation and introduction of a desalination plant. Why such a late inclusion after years of planning? A joint letter from TASC and Stop Sizewell C has some excellent pointers.
  2. The Planning Inspectors questioned the short 3 week consultation on such an important issue as water, we should all do the same. Why have it during the peak holiday period when many are away, including local Town Clerks, members of NGO’s and Government bodies.
  3. The pipeline Northumbrian Water will need to install from Barsham is 28km long and will need permission from relevant authority’s, why is it not in the DCO? It will cause more disruption to the area and there is always an environmental impact one way or another. What is the cost of the pipeline and who will pay for it?
  4. EDF give no indication as to the added costs to the over £20 billion project.
  5. a)How long is temporary? b)what is the carbon footprint of running a desalination plant 24/7? c) Will SZC give a guarantee the plant is only ‘temporary’?
  6. EDF’s previous objections to desalination seem to have evaporated (in document AS-202 Water Supply Strategy Update, EDF states; “This option has been discounted in favour of alternative options, due to concerns with power consumption, sustainability, cost, and wastewater discharge. The desalination process is typically energy intensive, and the discharge of brine water as a result of desalination may not be suitable for discharge through the combined drainage outfall (CDO) – (Stop Sizewell C) website.
  7. As the plant will take up to 6 months to build and won’t be installed at the very beginning of the build, water will be brought in by tankers, up to 40 per day plus return journey’s, for up to a year. EDF insist this won’t add to the other hundreds of HGV’s travelling along the B1122. Who will monitor this? Strong objections are needed by all.
  8. In EDF’s newsletter they state ‘salty water’ will be discharged back into the sea, this is actually highly concentrated brine, 1.6 times more concentrated than seawater. How safe will it be to swim and what effects on marine life?
  9. As stated, the desalination plant will be run by diesel generators, 24/7, until an alternative on-site energy source is found. What will the impact be on CO2, Nitrogen Oxides, and PM 10s and 2.5s in the area? Low Carbon it is not.
  10. The Inspectors have asked EDF to send them all the responses they receive so please tell them what you think in no mean terms.

You can view and respond to EDF Sizewell C Consultation here

Please send your responses to EDF – TASC think it preferable to send an email rather than fill in consultation online boxes.

Please send a copy to Planning Inspectorate, Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council and

Therese Coffey MP.