All posts by Alison Downes

A dangerously reckless project’: Town council slams Sizewell C project

An east Suffolk town council has formally opposed the construction of a new power plant in the region.S

Eamonn O'Nolan said the project was dangerously reckless Picture: EAMONN O'NOLAN

Eamonn O’Nolan said the project was dangerously reckless Picture: EAMONN O’NOLAN

10 July 2019: Woodbridge Town Council made the decision at a full council meeting on Tuesday night and came after EDF announced a fourth consultation on the project last week.

Among councillor’s key concerns about the project were the lack of mitigation options for the town and the additional traffic which would be produced by vehicles accessing the site.

Some also questioned the likelihood of Fukushima-style meltdown in the region as a result of the new site.

After a debate the council carried the motion with eight councillors in favour, three against and one abstention.

Woodbridge mayor, Eamonn O’Nolan, said: “For all the good intentions that may lie behind it, Sizewell C is a dangerously reckless project that must be stopped.

“The fine engineering minds employed on it should be giving their attention to the question of how to make safe the reactor that is already there, not building a new and bigger one alongside it.

“In terms of environmental impact, nothing discussed so far in the consultation process comes close to the reality of a Fukushima scenario.

“Yet that is what we could be facing – the prospect of our region becoming globally known in the same terms as Fukushima or Chernobyl: Effectively uninhabitable.

Suffolk Councils Respond To Sizewell C ConsultationSuffolk Councils Respond To Sizewell C Consultation

“The technology may have improved slightly, but the fundamental fact remains that uncontrolled water and nuclear reactors do not mix safely.

“EDF’s planners speak of Sizewell as standing on “a stable part of the Suffolk coast”. This is simply not true.

“The people of Suffolk know how ‘stable’ this coastline really is.”

Mr O’Nolan said that it was important that renewable energies were considered to provide the power needed in the area.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “Sizewell C will provide a massive boost in jobs, training and skills in Suffolk for years to come.

“As we launch stage 4 consultation we urge everyone to engage with us to ensure their views are heard so that we can best manage the impacts during construction and maximise the wide benefits the project will deliver for Suffolk.

“There has never been a radiation release in the history of the EDF Energy sites but the company continues to prepare and rehearse for this extremely unlikely event with a regular programme of exercises to make sure that people at the station and the emergency services are familiar with emergency plans.

“In the UK we also have arrangements in place for the small number of residents living within the detailed emergency planning zone (DEPZ) of each power station. For Sizewell B this is 1km.

“The off-site emergency plan is owned by Suffolk County Council who, working the respective agencies including EDF Energy, identify a detailed planning zone which is immediately around the site and allow for pre-prepared counter measures to be in place such as stable iodine tablets and communications such as an automated telephone system.

“After the events at Fukushima, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) carried out an independent review of UK nuclear power plants.

“This concluded that the “UK nuclear facilities have no fundamental weaknesses”.

“These findings were supported by EDF Energy’s Japanese Earthquake Response (JER) Programme on completing an internal review and challenge across the entire fleet of nuclear power plants which showed ‘there is no challenge to nuclear safety for within design basis events’.

“Lessons learned from the event were incorporated into the design of the EPR, the technology that will be used at HPC and SZC, and we will demonstrate our ability to respond to events as part of the site Licencing arrangements.”

Fourth round of consultation to be held on Sizewell C

1 July 2019. Read online: https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/new-consultation-to-be-held-for-sizewell-c-1-6136637

EDF has confirmed that it will be holding a fourth round of consultation into plans to build a new nuclear power station in Suffolk.

The new consultation will run from July 18 until September 27 and will focus on a few specific areas including transport and ecology.

Calls had been made by campaigners in March for a further round of consultation to be had in order for information to be provided about transport and accommodation issues as well as concerns regarding the environment. 
EDF said that this latest consultation was a response to requests for further options and more information on a number of topics.

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director said: “We have listened to the feedback at Stage 3.

“A number of people told us they would like to see a further stage of consultation to better understand proposals, such as transport and transport mitigation measures.

“We are not discounting any of the proposals put forward at Stage 3 at this stage, so if anyone did not get the chance to feedback to our Stage 3 proposals this is another opportunity.”

What are the main issues surrounding Sizewell C?

Transport

There are a number of concerns about how materials and people will be transported in and out of Sizewell C. EDF had previously considered a range of strategies including marine-led, rail-led and road-led plans. In the third round of consultations EDF made clear that it was now only looking at rail-led or road-led strategies.

A bypass around the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, known locally as the Four Villages Bypass, was in discussion for a long time but was turned by the government at the start of last month due to concerns about financing.

However, plans for a smaller bypass through two of the villages, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew were unveiled in plans by EDF during the second round of consultations.

As well as the bypass there are many concerns locally about the B1122 from the A12 at Yoxford to Leiston.

Some of those living along the B1122 want a dedicated new route constructed to deal with the hundreds of lorries which will pass through the site on a daily basis.

However, the B1122 bypass/link road would only be built if EDF pick if road rather than rail is chosen as the priority for delivering materials to the site.

Whereas another bypass, this time relieving the village of Theberton, has already been confirmed.

Environment

Environmental concerns about the nuclear power station focus on the RSPB Minsmere site and the Suffolk Coastal and Heaths AONB. Wildlife experts raised concerns at the start of the year that the station could have a “major adverse environmental impact” on the habitats at Minsmere including the loss of habitat for certain species as well as the disruption of wildlife during the construction process.

In March, Suffolk councils asked for further information to resolve fears about the site’s environmental impact.

Accommodation

Concerns were raised in early 2017 about the proposed accommodation for workers who would construct Sizewell C. Eastbridge, near Leiston, was selected as the preferred site by Suffolk County Council for the 2,400 workers.

Campaigners are worried about the impact of such a site on the environment as well as people living nearby. The council has since looked into up to eight other sites for the accommodation campus with EDF saying that it is willing to keep options open.

How have campaigners responsed to the latest news?

Alison Downes representing the Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, the B1122 Action Group and the Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group said: “We welcome EDF’s agreement that a fourth stage of consultation is required, but are dismayed that the majority of its length will be during the summer holidays, when people will be away and hoping to relax: some Parish Councils don’t even meet in August.

“We will be deeply disappointed if rail transport has proven impractical or remains unclear, and if alternative transport routes are not considered.

“Given the plethora of energy projects planned for the area, we call on EDF and other developers to work with the County Council on a more strategic approach to transport infrastructure.”

A spokesman for Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) said: “TASC is not surprised that there is to be a Stage 4 consultation as we and many others were gravely concerned about the lack of detail at Stage 3.

“However, it is TASC’s view that the disruption that Sizewell C will cause on such a massive scale in the AONB and in the surrounding area of East Suffolk; that even with some major alterations it may still not be an acceptable development.

“Particularly with a view to habitat destruction, displacement of species, damage to the ecology of the area, and possible new roads, concern about lack of water supply and climate emergency.

“However, we will study EDF’s further proposals and give them every consideration.”

Education chiefs: ‘Sizewell C will benefit our young people’

28 June 2019. Read online at https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/education-and-business-leaders-support-edf-sizewell-c-1-6130929

Education and business leaders from across the region have hailed the Sizewell C project as a “once in a generation” opportunity to boost skills among local people.

The group, including headteachers, CEOs and a university’ vice-chancellor, have voiced their support for the new nuclear power station, arguing it will “boost employment, education and skills” and play an “essential role” in tackling climate change.

In an open letter published today, the leaders said: “We support Sizewell C because we support the East of England.”

Suffolk New College principal, Viv Gillespie, said the college was “happy to offer support and backing on this issue”.

“As a college, we naturally work with the business community to help develop partnerships that will help benefit both Suffolk New College students and local organisations,” she said.

“We offer a range of courses at the college and are developing further STEM programmes that can support the creation of a new workforce of tomorrow for a range of organisations (including Sizewell C).”

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director, said: “We welcome this letter of support from education, business and charity sector leaders in the region. The construction and operation of Sizewell C will bring thousands of new jobs to the local area and provide a boost in skills, training and education.

“We are working closely with a network of local schools, colleges and charities to raise aspirations, develop training opportunities and apprenticeships for young people, who will then be equipped with skills they can use throughout their careers, either as part of the project or more widely in the local community.”

‘Visitors will be driven away’

Sizewell C will sit next to the existing stations of Sizewell B and A on the Suffolk coastline – but there are concerns about the impact it will have the environment and the damage the building of the new site could cause to the Suffolk countryside.

Alison Downes, co-chair of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), said: “We are dismayed that this support for Sizewell C and the East of England neglects to consider the damage to the riches of our environment, and entirely ignores losses to tourism income and jobs brought about by the impacts of a massive 10+ year construction project on our beautiful landscape.

“Noise, pollution, damage to the AONB and extreme traffic congestion will certainly drive visitors away for an extended period.

“Given that EDF is planning to build a campus at Eastbridge for 2,400 construction workers, plus a caravan site for a further 600, that’s a huge number of people who are not from the local area working on the project. And indeed, according to the Office of National Statistics, our district enjoys some of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country.

“Nuclear power is not the only solution to our climate crisis; the carbon footprint of such a huge construction project as Sizewell C will be enormous.

“Of course we want our children to have a bright future, but surely not at any price.”

EDF has held a series of consultations over the proposals as they prepare to make a formal planning application.

You may also want to watch:

Suffolk Councils Respond To Sizewell C ConsultationSuffolk Councils Respond To Sizewell C Consultation

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‘Develop home-grown talent’

The letter, signed by 10 leaders from the education and business sectors, said: “Sizewell C offers a once in a generation opportunity to boost employment, education and skills in the region and will play an essential role in tackling the climate change crisis. We must take this opportunity for the benefit of our children and theirs too.

“We can see the progress being made at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and how the impact of construction is being balanced by the huge opportunities for local people.

“Just two years into the project there are 4,000 workers on the site each day – half from the local area and 400 apprentices already learning new skills. Contracts with businesses in the region have already reached £1.5billion. Sizewell C will offer similar benefits for Suffolk. “Young people in this region deserve the same opportunities through Sizewell C which will bring 1,000 apprenticeships and thousands of jobs to the area.

“Our schools, colleges and youth organisations are working with the existing power station Sizewell B and the Sizewell C project. We want to develop home-grown talent and help them stay and develop their skills in the region so they can live, work and bring up their families in an area with a bright future.

“We support Sizewell C because we support the East of England.”

Signed:

Professor David J Richardson, Vice-Chancellor & President, University of East Anglia

Dr Nikos Savvas, Principal, West Suffolk College

Dan Mayhew, Principal, Alde Valley Academy

Stuart Rimmer, Principal, East Coast College

Viv Gillespie, Principal, Suffolk New College

Terry Baxter, CEO, Inspire Suffolk

Emma Ratzer, CEO, Access Community Trust

John Dugmore, CEO, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Doug Field, Chair, New Anglia LEP

Simon Gray, CEO, East of England Energy Group

Objection to Sizewell B facilities relocation

EDF has applied for planning permission to relocate and “upgrade” facilities at Sizewell B – application DC/19/1637/FUL . TEAGS opposes this application and encourages supporters to send objections to East Suffolk Council. Send an email to planning@eastsuffolk.gov.uk, or write to East Suffolk Council Planning, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ, by 5pm on Thursday 23 May, referencing application DC/19/1637/FUL.

TEAGSs’ view is that EDF’s application should only be considered as part of a Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) procedure for the following reasons:

  • The primary purpose for relocating Sizewell B facilities is to make space for Sizewell C. It would be inappropriate to approve a development that would remove around 90% of Coronation Wood and up to 50% of Pill Box Field when the DCO request for Sizewell C has neither been submitted nor approved, and when the National Policy Statement on site selection for new nuclear reactors is under review.
  • The cumulative impact on communities and the environment of this proposal and other proposed energy infrastructure will be considerable. The County Council and former Suffolk Coastal District Council have worked hard to ensure these projects are designated as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), and given the interconnectedness of this application with EDF’s Sizewell C proposals, we consider it is inappropriate to exclude this part of the project from the NSIP / DCO process.
  • In the event of Sizewell C not going ahead, it would be unacceptable for landscape to have been destroyed for no reason. EDF should be able to upgrade its facilities without further damage to the landscape.
  • With the interconnectedness of this project with Sizewell C, we consider it is ironic that EDF is seeking permission from East Suffolk Council when the County Council and former Suffolk Coastal District Council – major statutory consultees – are withholding their support for Sizewell C.
  • For more information, view or download our full response below.

Stage 3 Responses Submitted

Read the TEAGS response at https://teags.org/stage-3-response/

Press Release, 29 March 2019

Campaign Groups slam inadequate Sizewell C & D proposals and unanimously call for further stage of consultation

Campaigners from Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group – together with Theberton & Eastbridge Parish Council, Middleton Parish Council and the Sizewell Parishes Liaison Group today jointly handed in their responses to EDF’s Stage 3 proposals on Sizewell C & D, on what is the final day of the consultation period.

Alison Downes of TEAGS said “Our Groups are unanimous in calling for an additional stage of consultation given the lack of detail provided by EDF and the substantial opposition to major planks of its proposals – transport and accommodation – and significant concern about environmental impacts. Without a further stage of consultation, EDF could be applying for its Development Consent Order in only 12 short months – a prospect that is unthinkable.”

Paul Collins of TEAGS and MLSG said: “Our views on the potential ecological impacts of Sizewell C & D are shared by expert environmental organisations such as the AONB Partnership, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and RSPB; in particular the risks to Minsmere and the threat to coastal processes are significant and cannot be mitigated. We consider that the site is too small and sensitive for such a massive project.”

Charles Macdowell of B1122 Action Group said: “EDF’s transport proposals have changed significantly since Stage 2 with poor solutions that we strongly oppose. We do not accept EDF’s Link Road / Theberton Bypass, nor the possibility of 24 hour HGV traffic. EDF needs to go back to the drawing board and re-examine the alternatives that it cursorily rejected. The solution must be worth having once the project is finished, especially considering the other energy projects proposed for this area.”

Contacts

TEAGS: Co Chairs Alison Downes, 07711 843884 or Paul Collins, 07503 283304, info@teags.org.

B1122 Action Group: Chair Charles Macdowell c.n.macdowell@gmail.com, 01728 648217

Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group: Joint Secretary Paul Collins (as above)

For Theberton & Eastbridge Parish Council, call Chair Stephen Brett 07503 320645

For Middleton Parish Council/Sizewell Parishes Liaison Group, call Roy Dowding 07729 013310

 

Letter, The Daily Telegraph, 21 March 2019

Sir – At £14 billion, the cost of building Sizewell C is huge, but there will be a much heavier price to pay on Suffolk’s beautiful heritage coast and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The impact on protected sites will be devastating.

Sizewell has been home to nuclear energy for almost 60 years, so it was no surprise that the site was selected for further development.

But what is being proposed is of a very different order to what has gone before. Sizewell C is planned to be as big as Sizewell A and Sizewell B put together, with woodland and fields destroyed to make way for it.

The recent collapse of nuclear projects at Moorside and Wylfa has brought Sizewell C to the top of the nuclear queue. With stage three of EDF’s consultations drawing to a close, the impact of the project is now known to be far greater than previously thought. We are deeply concerned that landscapes, wildlife and people in this unique part of the British Isles will suffer enormously.

For the past six years EDF has said that the materials for this enormous project could be substantially delivered by sea. But the company now says this is not possible due to the potential damage to the marine environment. So up to 1,500 lorries a day could soon be clogging Suffolk’s roads, delivering construction materials, disrupting the lives of residents and jeopardising the area’s £210 million a year tourism industry for the decade or more that it will take to build the plant.

In short, we believe that Sizewell C will industrialise a region known for its beauty, wildness and tranquillity. If the project cannot be delivered by sea and by rail, without encroaching on Suffolk’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Minsmere Reserve and the heritage coast, and carving up farms and communities, it should not be delivered at all.

Signed
William Kendall, Entrepreneur
Dr Andy Wood, OBE DL, Chief Executive, Adnams plc
Bill Turnbull, Broadcaster
Diana Quick, Actor
Cllr David Wood, Chairman, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership
Harry Young, Chair of The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation
Caroline Cranbrook OBE,
Bill Nighy, Actor
Maggi Hambling, CBE, Painter and Sculptor
The Rt Hon Ben Gummer
Matthew Freud, Head of Freud Communications
Guy Heald, Chairman, Hotel Folk (formerly Thorpeness & Aldeburgh Hotels)
Michael Pritt, Owner, Wentworth Hotel, Aldeburgh
Hektor Rous, Henham Park
Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Latitude Festival
Ruth Watson, Restaurateur and Hotelier
Richard Ellis, Chairman of Original Cottages
Sir Kenneth Carlisle & Lady Carla Carlisle
Rev. Canon Christine Redgrave, Rector of the 8 parishes of the Yoxmere Benefice
Kenneth Sillito, FRAM, Artistic Director and violinist & Esmé Sillito, LRAM
Esther Freud, Novelist
Humphrey Burton, CBE, Writer and Broadcaster & Christina Burton
Helen Atkinson Wood, Actor
John Morton, Writer
Mark Hoare, RIBA, Architect
Paul Field, Tech Entrepreneur and Free Word trustee

Read online at  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/03/21/letters-european-union-could-turn-short-delay-gradual-dissolving/