All posts by Alison Downes

Plans for Sizewell C nuclear power station receive a setback

Jessica Hill, East Anglian Daily Times, 11 July 2018

Read in full: http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/nuclear-power-station-in-suffolk-in-race-against-hitachi-wylfa-plant-in-wales-1-5602731

Plans for Sizewell C nuclear power station receive a setback

Government advisers have dealt a blow to plans for Sizewell C by recommending that only one nuclear power station should be built in the next few years, because renewable energy sources could prove to be a safer option.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said the government should cool down plans for a nuclear new build programme that envisage as many as six plants being built.

Sir John Armitt, the NIC’s chairman, said he was “agnostic” about whether the next power station should be the one Hitachi want to build in Wales, or Sizewell C, which EDF Energy hopes to have up and running in Suffolk by 2031.

Newly published research commissioned by the NIC found that nuclear and renewables could meet climate targets for comparable costs. Aurora Energy Research concluded that, whichever technology was pursued, the power sector would

have to reach zero emissions by 2050 to hit legally binding carbon goals.

Paul Collins, Co Chair of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), said his group are “deeply concerned” at the prospect of an intensified race between new nuclear projects.

“EDF is reportedly planning to hold Stage 3 consultations in January, but that seems too soon given the work they still have to do. In our recent meetings with the company it is abundantly clear that many Sizewell C & D plans are up in the air, including the questions of whether the B1122 (the main access route to deliver the development) is fit for purpose, or a jetty can be constructed safely for transporting construction materials, let alone our ongoing arguments against a single site worker accommodation campus.

“Crucial environmental assessments will also not be completed by the end of the year.”

There is also growing speculation that EDF Energy is planning to sell part of its 80 percent stake in Britain’s nuclear plants.

The Sunday Times reported that China General Nuclear (CGN) was in early-stage talks with EDF Energy and its partner Centrica (CNA.L) about acquiring a share of up to 49 percent in Britain’s fleet of eight power stations, which include Sizewell B in Suffolk. If successful, the deal could give China greater access to critical infrastructure projects in the UK.

CGN is currently working with EDF Energy to develop a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.

EDF boss offers to meet campaigners to hear concerns over Sizewell C

Read online http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/edf-boss-simone-rossi-offers-to-meet-campaigners-to-hear-concerns-over-sizewell-c-1-5597204

Campaigners who felt they were snubbed by EDF Energy boss Simone Rossi during a visit to Suffolk have now been offered the chance to meet him to discuss Sizewell C.

Chief executive officer Mr Rossi addressed the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Kesgrave recently but disappointed campaign groups by choosing not to visit the power plant site.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell C (TEAGs) had invited Mr Rossi to visit communities in east Suffolk most affected by EDF’s proposals to see the impact the huge development would have on the area.

The group says it has now received a letter saying he would be at Sizewell on September 7 and offering to meet.

Alison Downes, co chair of TEAGS, said: “We welcome the opportunity to meet Simone Rossi in September, some ten months after we wrote to him, overdue though it is.

“However, what we want most is the chance to show him our parish and the area around Minsmere – as we requested in our original letter – so that he may better understand this special place and how it will be affected during the construction of Sizewell C.

“Since we are the community that stands on the very front line of EDF’s plans for two new reactors, we most certainly deserve Simone Rossi’s attention. We urge him to take a fresh approach to tackling these cumulative and unacceptable impacts.

“We’ll be calling on him to adopt a different accommodation strategy, utilising split sites; to acknowledge that the B1122 is not fit for purpose and that Sizewell needs a relief road; and to address much more openly the impacts on this fragile environment.”

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director, said EDF had met with members of TEAGs in May, discussed their concerns and offered a follow-up meeting. “We are also going to organise a visit for the group to see Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, as they said this would be helpful,” he added. “Our meeting with TEAGS is part of a commitment to meet and keep open communications with a wide variety of organisations in the areas close to our development proposals.”

Mr Crawford added EDF’s Leiston High Street office was open during the week for people to visit.

EDF Chief Spurns Locals in whistle-stop visit to Suffolk

27 June 2018, for immediate release

EDF Energy’s Chief Executive Officer Simone Rossi will address the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce AGM in Kesgrave, Ipswich [1] on 29 June but, according to EDF staff, he will not visit Sizewell, and has ignored an invitation to meet local groups.

“Despite being in post for eight months and speaking about Sizewell regularly to the national media, Simone Rossi appears surprisingly reluctant to visit us,” said Paul Collins of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group (MLSG) said. “If EDF really wants to show its commitment to engagement, Simone Rossi will make it a priority to come and meet the community that is on the frontline of Sizewell C & D and that will suffer a cumulative and disproportionate impact during construction. He owes it to the people of east Suffolk to come and hear our concerns face to face and ensure that EDF meets its stated obligations before the next round of consultation.

Charles Macdowell of the B1122 Action Group said: “The views of local people and groups are not being taken seriously. We have a great many concerns, many of them shared by the local councils and others. These include the B1122 which is not fit for purpose as the sole access road, the enormous workers’ campus at Eastbridge and the refusal to conduct proper Environmental Impact Assessments. Unless significant changes are made, we will have to conclude that EDF’s consultation process is purely symbolic and that the company has never had any intention of addressing local concerns.”

TEAGS invited Simone Rossi in October 2017 to visit our parishes. Our open letter was published in the East Anglian Daily Times [2] and posted to EDF’s London offices. After eight months, as EDF said it could not locate our letter, Sizewell C Project Development Director Jim Crawford replied, ignoring our invitation to Simone Rossi and instead reiterating the willingness of local staff to meet. [3] EDF staff told TEAGS verbally that Simone Rossi would visit Sizewell “at some point in the future”, but there is no guarantee that he would hold any meetings with local people at that time.

Notes

[1] https://www.ea-today.com/event/suffolk-chamber-june-business-networking-lunch-agm/

[2] East Anglian Daily Times, 31 October 2017, http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/protest-group-asks-new-edf-chief-to-visit-suffolk-to-hear-sizewell-c-views-1-5259290

[3] EDF’s reply can be viewed at https://www.dropbox.com/s/j8jcjv2oi1o4l8i/EDFLetter22June2018.jpeg