SZC Consultation Responses
The 2nd EDF Consultation ran from 23/11/16 to 03/02/17.
Despite promises to the contrary, EDF chose to run the consultation over the Christmas period just as they did with the 1st consultation 4 years ago. It is easy to be disheartened when ploughing through the 321 pages of the 2nd consultation document, and it is the view of some members of TASC that the document and the whole consultation was designed to sap the will and energy of people who want to engage with it. There is a lot of verbiage and little detail in the document, and whilst we were invited to comment on trivial aspects of the plans there was no option given for us to reject it completely. TASC responded to the consultation and pointed out the issues that were omitted by EDF as we feel it is important to engage with the planning process and to highlight the paucity of information that was given to us by EDF
A link to the EDF 2nd consultation document is here.
2nd Consultation- mains water
In the 321 pages of the 2nd consultation document there is no mention at all about the use of mains water. When I asked a Sizewell “expert” during the stage 2 consultation roadshow, he was unaware that Sizewell C would require 1,600 m3 mains water per day, and thought that I was asking about water that would be used to make tea and flush the toilets. When I explained how much water would be required, he suggested that it was not EDF’s problem as they would just buy the water from the water company and let them work out where it is to come from.
That answer was incorrect:
Sizewell B currently uses around 800 cubic metres of mains water a day, which is 7% of of the total demand of the local catchment area.1 The twin-reactors of Sizewell C would require at least 1,600 cubic metres of fresh water per day in order to cool various parts of the plant including the primary and secondary circuits of the reactor, which means approximately 20% of the mains water would be taken by the power plant. The East Suffolk Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies (CAMS) covers an area of 1364km2 and includes Felixstowe, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Stowmarket, Saxmundham, Halesworth, Southwold and Kessingland.2
Households in suffolk are being asked to conserve water because it is recognised that this is one of the driest regions in the country and there is little scope for abstracting more water from local water sources.3
The committee on climate change report “UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017” 4 cites ‘Flooding and coastal change risks to communities, businesses and infrastructure’ as the biggest threat that comes with climate change the top 6 risks also includes ‘Risk of shortages in the public water supply, and for agriculture, energy generation and industry’
The report goes on to say:
“Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of water in the environment that can be sustainably withdrawn whilst increasing the demand for irrigation during the driest months. At the same time the growing population will create additional demands on already stretched resources in some parts of the country. Even low population growth and modest climate change scenarios suggest severe water supply deficits”5
Edf has an obligation under the governments national policy statement for energy to submit an an environmental statement which includes details of how much water in intends to abstract and what impact this will have on existing water resources:
“5.15.3 The ES should in particular describe:
…existing water resources affected by the proposed project and the impacts of the proposed project on water resources, noting any relevant existing abstraction rates, proposed new abstraction rates and proposed changes to abstraction rates (including any impact on or use of mains supplies and reference to Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies)”6
EDF is also required to set out their strategy for mains water use in order to comply with The Suffolk Ecology Principles for Sizewell C, which state:
“The anticipated levels of water use and a suitable potable water source for the development must be identified to ensure there is adequate capacity and that this can be achieved in a sustainable manner that will not have an adverse effect upon river flows or wetland sites.”7
The impact that Sizewell c will have on the mains water supply was recognised and flagged up during the stage 1 consultation by individuals and in the response from Leiston town council:
“9.5 There are serious issues concerning Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council regarding potable water. It is unclear from the information provided what the actual intake of water associated with Sizewell C is going to be, and how much will be needed for the reactors. Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council has been informed that, with the intake of Sizewell B, the potable water situation in the area is currently only just in balance.”8
Consultation Response from TASC supporter
Q14. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions about the consultation process.
It is a sham. This ‘consultation’ offers no real chance for people to create a new possibility for power production in the area. The people of Leiston could all be employed making solar panels, tidal barriers or wind turbines. See the wonderful work being done in Hull www.siemens.co.uk/careers/en/hull-jobs.php
This consultation presupposes that the construction of nuclear power plants is something useful or necessary or responsible in itself. It is not. Go and visit Fukushima or Chernobyl if you are at all in doubt. This consultation is too long and unwieldy and does not offer the chance for people to reject the whole idea. Nuclear power is irresponsible for future generations. It makes very, very, very expensive electricity – you would probably make more power by actually burning money in your power station. Stop this madness and give proper employment that will sustain the people of Leiston for many generations to come – not irradiate them.
EDF stage 2 consultation response – Mrs. M Horwood
I write with much concern about the plans to construct two enormous Nuclear Power Stations in our neighbourhood
- It is dangerous and irresponsible to create a toxic mix that as yet there is no solution to dealing with it. How do I explain this to my grandchildren.
- it is clear that the coast in our area of Suffolk is eroding faster than anticipated. It erodes more in some areas than others but if you were to walk at Cove Hithe or Thorpeness both only a few kilometers either side of the Sizewell plant you would see how the erosion defies the statistics we have been presented with.
- The impact on nature will be disastrous. The precious SSSI land, the Sanderlings and the edges of the reedbeds will all suffer from from the construction work, noise and disruption. So many of us moved to this area of Suffolk because of its natural beauty and stillness.
- Constructing campus accommodation for single workers ( over 2000!)will not provide any helpful social infrastucture for Leiston or local towns. Nor will it help future housing. People of Leiston remember the drunken Friday nights after payday . And now the police station is not open and local medical aid less available. I used to live in Eastbridge and work in Leiston and was well aware of this social problem.
I could continue with concerns but I am sure that you will consider these points in detail before deciding to forge ahead with such an unacceptable plan just because it has cost so much already.
Mrs M. Horwood.
Response to EDF Stage 2 Consultation for Sizewell C- A. West
1. Sizewell C proposals – overall
This is a totally inappropriate project . The site is far too small for the proposed build and the land take has increased since it was first made public. Even more land take is proposed, under compulsory order if necessary, and the inevitable destruction of valuable internationally recognised wildlife sites is unacceptable.
Concrete will cover an area twice the size of Leiston, most of which is an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and on the Heritage Coast.
To encroach so closely to the small villages of Theberton and Eastbridge and to RSPB Minsmere should not even be contemplated.
Peoples lives will be hell and tourism will be curtailed because traffic will increase so much that visitors will not want to come to what will be an industrialised environment.
This is also a very vulnerable coast, as was seen with the threat of extensive flooding on Friday 13th January. I could not believe it when I asked about flood risk to the site at one of the Consultation exhibitions I was told that it was “ok” because “ it would become a peninsular”. Well I don’t think this is a very good response and if this is EDF’s attitude then this is very worrying. In fact if the site needs so much protection from flooding in the way of rocks and concrete it proves it is the wrong site for such a dangerous power station. We have to live with ’B’ but we should not be building any more here.
No attempts at mitigating the loss of such a wonderful wildlife rich area will justify the destruction of this unique site. It is an extremely sensitive area. Part of the proposed ’platform’ covers the north eastern part of the SSSI, an area rich in rare fauna and flora which will be destroyed and lost forever. Aldhurst Farm is not, as shown in Fig 7.8, a SSSI habitat and probably never will be.
The site is adjacent to Minsmere, of national and international fame and a RAMSAR site, close to Walberswick SPA (Special Protection Area) of European importance. The shoreline itself in front of the site is vegetated shingle, a CWS (County Wildlife Site) with rare and uncommon plants and nesting terns and offshore is the Outer Thames Area Special Protection Area. This whole part of Suffolk is full of protected areas which makes it a totally unsuitable place for such a massive and destructive building project.
Mitigation will not be acceptable as ancient sites holding rare flora and fauna cannot be replicated. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.
3. Site Access Road
The proposed road will cut right through the AONB form east to west creating a barrier for wildlife. Animals can move freely over the whole area at the moment and the road will cut through their habitats causing them to be displaced or prevented from foraging or even killed. Many animals such as otters, deer and badgers roam over a wide range and they will be affected by 12 years + of noise, light, ground disturbance and pollution along with the enormous number of humans and machines. A large number of trees are proposed to be felled resulting in yet more loss of habitat.
As for the causeway over the remaining part of the SSSI which is left after the platform has been built, this is not a question that ordinary members of the public should be asked – we are not all engineers. As I disagree with the canalising of the river and the destruction of very rare wet woodland, which is a Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitat, I have to disagree with the whole concept.
4. Managing construction materials.
How can you even consider digging huge quarries, or “borrow pits” as you like to call them, right next to the villages of Theberton and Eastbridge? The noise, dust and pollution will be unbearable. They would also be close to Minsmere, Walberswick Heaths and Marshes Special Protection Area and Ash Wood causing enormous disturbance to wildlife.
The huge influx of, mostly young male, workers into this small rural area of Suffolk will present huge difficulties to the local communities. It is proposed that the majority of them will live in the accommodation blocks next to Theberton and Eastbridge. Although we have been told that all of their needs will be satisfied on the site I cannot believe that, in their free time, they will not choose to roam around Leiston, or further afield in their cars, looking for excitement and female company.
When Sizewell B was being constructed Leiston became like a Wild West town with drugs, booze and prostitutes. There were even mini brothels being run in nearby villages, I am informed. I cannot believe that EDF will be able to stop this happening again despite their promises.
The area chosen for the accommodation blocks is unsuitable. Whichever option you look at the road to Eastbridge will be incorporated into the campus. This road is one of the main routes to Minsmere and, if it is closed, visitors from the south will be forced to travel through tiny back lanes to get there or take a long detour through the village of Westleton.
Three, four or five storey blocks on this site would be totally out of scale and inappropriate in what would normally be a very tranquil place. The number of cars to be parked on the site reiterates my point that the workforce will not stay on site all the time but will use their cars to travel for entertainment.
7. Transport : overall
There is no mention in the document of which ports are likely to be used so we have no idea of where most road traffic will come from.
The jetty has not been shown in elevation so we have no idea how high it will be or what it will look like.
The proposed “green” rail route cuts right through the AONB and farmland and ecologically sensitive areas, as does the proposed “access road” from the B1122. These are both too close to Leiston Abbey and the Pro Corda Music School.
The increase in road traffic across a wide area of the county will be enormous on an already inadequate road system. Alongside tourist traffic there are already HGV’s crossing the county from Felixstowe, white vans and commercial vehicles as well as local people travelling to work by car. The addition of extra vehicles wending their way to the Park and Ride facilities via minor roads and country lanes will cause horrendous problems not only to the people living alongside these routes but those trying to go about their daily business – taking children to school or going shopping. Many hold-ups and traffic jams will occur.
We also have to think about the events held in this part of the county. Snape Maltings already attracts thousands of visitors each year and that is due to be expanded. The annual music and arts festival “Latitude” near Southwold is planning to grow in size and that already attracts thousands of visitors.
These are two venues that are an established part of this county’s culture and this huge industrial project will ruin peoples enjoyment because travelling to them will be a nightmare. Visitors who now holiday in the area for its peace and beauty will find quieter places to go, thus ruining a vibrant tourist industry.
9 Transport : Sea
The proposed jetty to receive heavy materials by sea has not been shown in enough detail for ordinary people to form an opinion.
How do we know what effects this will have on the sea bed during its construction, its use and if and when it is dismantled. What size ships would be using it? Not enough information.
10 Transport : Park and Ride
The actual Park and Ride facilities are gobbling up even more farmland. They will be operating 24/7 and the noise, fumes and light pollution will be horrendous for those living nearby, especially at Darsham. With so many trips planned for buses to and from the construction site day and night the area will become unbearable. Properties are already blighted and unsaleable around these sites. People should not be made to suffer this. No amount of compensation will make it alright.
11 & 12 Transport : Road Improvements
All the bypasses suggested at Farnham are ecologically damaging, except Option 2 which would not satisfy the residents on the bend and includes knocking down a Grade 2 building.
At Yoxford you admit that traffic will increase by 722% during the peak construction period. This is unacceptable.
Theberton can expect and increase of 542% during this period. This is also unacceptable.
It beggars belief that you would expect anybody using these roads or living on them or near them to accept these increases and shows utter disregard for the people of Suffolk.
Cycling : You suggest that your workers might prefer to cycle to the Park and Ride facilities or to the construction site. Well, unless the routes are completely off road, good luck to them. They will be taking their lives in their hands along with visitors and locals who cycle. With the increase in traffic cycling will be out of the question.
13 People and Economy
Tourism is an enormous part of this regions economy. If this project is allowed to go ahead tourism will be killed off. People come here for the peace and tranquillity of the countryside and the wildlife that this attracts. The effect of the industrialisation of a huge area of internationally recognised natural countryside that has been fought for over decades will be enormously detrimental. Visitors will simply go elsewhere.
The jobs promised are not all high paid long term jobs. Many skilled workers may be transferred from France when the project there is eventually finished. Local companies looking to recruit staff will not be able to compete with the higher wages offered by EDF and workers will leave to work there with consequences for local businesses.
14 Consultation process
I was very disappointed that the consultation period included the pre-Christmas period when most peoples attention was on other things. I understand that this was also the case for the first consultation and I feel this is insulting to the general public.
The consultation documents are poor. Much information is left out and there is not a lot more in them than in the first consultation. The maps are very poor and far too small to give proper detail. The keys to the maps in the summary document are illegible.
EDF SIZEWELL C 3RD CONSULTATION- Chris Wilson
Please find below my response to your 3rd consultation in relation to your proposals to build Sizewell C(SZC). I have generally followed the headings as set out in your consultation response but, after my introduction, I have initially provided my comments on the consultation itself as these set the framework for my responses.
Nuclear Power: Systemic Risk And Climate Change
Humanity faces a large number of challenges in future decades including increasing population leading to increased competition for dwindling resources and climate change. These challenges could lead to ‘collapse of civilisation’ i.e. the complex system of exchange of good and raw materials, energy, food and water would be susceptible to shocks or many even collapse altogether.
The nuclear industry is unique in the danger it poses from systemic shocks or collapse. Without of power supply, fresh water and human expertise it creates the risk of reactor core meltdown and/or a spent fuel fire which could release massive amounts of radioactivity with catastrophic results.
Although the consultation document has taken into account a possible scenario of a 3.2m sea level rise (SLR):
2.12.63. The main platform would be at a level of 7.3m AOD, which is similar to the 1 in 1000 annual probability extreme still water levels in the year 2110 for the worst credible H++ climate change scenario (3.2m SLR, including land motion). The H++ scenario identified in UKCP09 is beyond the likely range, but within physical plausibility. The main platform would therefore be safe and resilient for its whole operational life against the worst credible climate change predictions.1
only the direct risk from the sea level rise in the vicinity of the power plant has been taken into account. However, it is necessary2 to take into account indirect risks from such a sea level rise and associated climate change factors outline in the H++ scenario.
The full response to the consultation can be found here.