Statement on Hinkley Point 15 September 2016

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) expresses support for communities adjacent to Hinkley Point C as UK Government gives the project the green light.

TEAGS fears that EDF’s failure to adequately address local concerns at Hinkley will be replicated in east Suffolk, with even greater hardship for residents here.

[SUFFOLK] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) today expressed support for local Somerset residents, as the UK Government gave permission for Hinkley Point C nuclear new build to proceed provided new conditions are met. [1] EDF, which had made its final investment decision on 28 July, and its Chinese partner China General Nuclear Power Corp, have both agreed.

“We can imagine how residents next to Hinkley C must be feeling, where local campaigners fought valiantly to change aspects of EDF’s construction proposals but to little avail,” said Su Swallow of TEAGS. “Having visited Hinkley, we know that their experience of negotiating with EDF matches our own thus far in seeking to persuade EDF to amend it proposals – the company appears deaf to what we have to say. The only straw of comfort is the Government’s intention to take a ‘special share’ in future reactors, and we will do all in our power to engage the Government in our battle to stop EDF trampling our communities in east Suffolk.”

EDF staff told Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council on 14 September that the company hoped to press ahead swiftly with a second stage of consultations in Suffolk on its proposals for Sizewell C.

Alison Downes of TEAGS said, “Nearly four years after the first consultation stage here in Suffolk on Sizewell C, all evidence suggests that EDF is doggedly sticking to unacceptable plans that will have a devastating impact on our tiny parish – including a multi-storey campus for 3,000 construction workers beside a hamlet of 100 people, along one of the main routes into RSPB Minsmere. and a wildly unrealistic expectation that the B1122, a country road through Theberton, can cope with all construction and emergency traffic.”

In July the results of a Suffolk County Council survey revealed that traffic on the B1122 was “the number one” concern for the community, with residents feeling that EDF had not yet provided any satisfactory mitigation proposals to counter the problems. Local media quoted County Councillor Guy McGregor as saying: “We needed to hear what concerns local people have about the development. This report has given voice to such concerns and EDF need to listen and act upon this…We will use this information to ask EDF Energy to take direct measures to address the widespread worries of the local community.”  [2]

The communities around Sizewell are increasingly aware that EDF has so far failed to adequately address local concerns about:

  •   transport, with up to 600 lorries a day expected to use the B1122 to bring loads to Sizewell.
  •   emergency access, given the very limited road infrastructure in the area.
  •   opposition to a campus for 3,000 construction workers adjacent to a tiny hamlet. In Hinkley, 500 workers will live on the site, the remaining 1,000 on brownfield sites in Bridgwater, (population 41,000).
  •  Noise, light and air pollution
  •  Impact on sensitive wildlife and habitats as well as the wider Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

“Whilst EDF is using the same language in Suffolk as in Somerset – a desire to ‘be a good neighbour’ – there is no sign so far that we will be able to achieve any shift in EDF’s plans for Sizewell,” said Jon Swallow of TEAGS. “Our small rural communities will bear the brunt of the construction phase but trampling our villages is clearly seen as the easiest option, with little hope of meaningful mitigation.”

EDF will not say whether its plans have changed since Stage 1 consultations, but there is no indication that they have done so and residents have been told they must wait for Stage 2 documents for more information. Meanwhile TEAGS representatives have met Ministers in both the then Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department of Transport, and County and District Councillors. It has carried out extensive mapping of the number households that would be affected by EDF’s use of the B1122 for construction and emergency traffic [3] and made a strong case for an alternative Sizewell relief road from the A12 to the Sizewell C site. TEAGS will be increasing pressure on the county and district councils to ensure that the group’s concerns about the decade-long construction phase have been loudly and formally registered.

Notes:

  1. The UK Government’s conditions, as described by the BBC are:

– After Hinkley, the government will take a special share in all new nuclear plants.

– Full implications of foreign ownership of power stations will be scrutinised for the purposes of national security.

– The government will ensure foreign direct investment works in the country’s best interests.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/business-37320034

  1. http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/traffic_analysis_raises_serious_concerns_over_sizewell_c_1_4618024
  2. www.stopsizewellc.org

Traffic analysis raises ‘serious concerns’ over Sizewell C

Traffic analysis raises ‘serious concerns’ over Sizewell C

17 July 2016, by Richard Cornwell

Sizewell C

A new report has raised “serious concerns” about the impact of construction traffic for Sizewell C on rural ares of east Suffolk

The report, commissioned by Suffolk County Council and produced by research agency Accent, shows traffic is the number one concern for the community, with residents requesting EDF Energy find a way of delivering its materials to the site in a way that minimises the amount of vehicles on the surrounding road network, in particular the B1122.

Both the county council and Suffolk Coastal District Council support the Sizewell C development in principle, but say to make it a success it is essential the impacts are mitigated.

The report, which investigated the extent, scale and type of traffic concerns residents have about current proposals for Sizewell C, was presented to the community at a meeting in Theberton..

County councillor with special responsibility for working with outside bodies, Guy McGregor, said: “I do continue to support the Sizewell C proposal on the basis that this is a much needed facility for the UK as a whole and that EDF Energy can provide a lasting legacy for the economy and the local communities.

“There are, however, significant obstacles that need to be overcome, none more challenging than the management of traffic.

“We needed to hear what concerns local people have about the development. This report has given voice to such concerns and EDF need to listen and act upon this.

“We will use this information to ask EDF Energy to take direct measures to address the widespread worries of the local community.”

The report said residents, who were interviewed during its preparation to gain a full and clear picture of the perceived traffic issues surrounding the construction, felt EDF had not yet provided any satisfactory mitigation proposals to counter the traffic problem.

Additional concerns raised included the belief that volumes of traffic associated with the construction of Sizewell B were significantly underestimated by EDF – and transport projections for Sizewell C must be more realistic and the effects of such increases properly assessed.

EDF Energy has been carrying out extensive traffic survey work in preparation for releasing more details of its mitigation plans at the stage two consultation expected later this year.

Ipswich Star, 25 January 2016

http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/enormous_power_station_loads_highlight_need_for_sizewell_c_relief_road_1_4391511

Enormous power station loads highlight need for Sizewell C relief road

Ipswich Star, 25 January 2016 by Richard Cornwell

Campaigners say traffic chaos caused by the movement of heavy loads to Sizewell B is a “terrifying indication” of what life will be like if another nuclear power station is built.

An electrical transformer being moved along the B1122 through villages to Sizewell B next to a TEAGS poster campaigning for a relief road – residents said the traffic chaos caused is a “terrifying indication” of what the road will be like if Sizewell C is ever built.

Last week three enormous pieces of electrical equipment were transported by road from Lowestoft docks to Sizewell – the slow-moving convoys caused disruption over three days on the B1122 as it made its way through small villages.

The three electrical transformers will replace existing equipment at the power station during refuelling and maintenance work taking place in April.

Residents who have been campaigning vigorously to prevent the B1122 – which runs from the A12 to Leiston – being used as route for Sizewell C construction traffic were horrified at the disruption caused.

Jon Swallow, chairman of TEAGS (Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell), said: “The movements of heavy electrical equipment for Sizewell B on the B1122 last week gave this rural community a terrifying indication of what is in store when Sizewell C is given the go-ahead.

“We face up to 600 lorries a day for perhaps a decade, unbelievably on a winding country B road.

“TEAGS, which is neither for nor against nuclear power, seeks to protect our communities from the impact of some of EDF’s construction proposals as they stand at the moment.

“Without a Sizewell relief road, the noise, air pollution, vibration and traffic chaos would be intolerable for all living along or close to the B1122, and threaten many listed buildings. The impact will also be felt by those in Middleton, Yoxford and Saxmundham.

“Let’s not forget that the B1122 is currently the only means of access for emergency vehicles, and evacuation of people.

“EDF and Suffolk County Council must pursue the case for a Sizewell relief road direct from the A12 to the Sizewell site to alleviate all these problems.

“A better solution must be found for this massive construction, which would be one of the biggest building projects in Europe.”

An EDF spokeswoman said the three separate trips and slowness of the vehicles was for safety reasons.

She said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Sizewell B wrote to the parish councils along the route in advance of the deliveries and worked with the police to minimise the disruption as much as possible.”

EDF Energy is continuing to develop its proposals for Sizewell C which will be subject to further public consultation. The company said it has carefully analysed responses to previous consultation, engaged with parishes and community groups, held regular discussions and workshops with councils, and carried out technical studies into the environment, engineering and construction, as well as transport assessments.

China Investment in UK Nuclear, 21 October 2015

Campaigners express concern as David Cameron and Xi Jinping sign a deal for China to take a major stake in UK nuclear power stations, including Sizewell

21 October 2015, for immediate release

Contact:  Jon Swallow 01728 830981, jonswallow@btinternet.com        Alison Downes, 07711 843884, alison.downesuk@gmail.com

[East Suffolk] Campaigners representing Theberton and Eastbridge, [1] the community in the frontline of the devastating impacts of constructing Sizewell C, have expressed grave concern at today’s announcement that China will take a significant stake in the UK’s nuclear power programme, investing £6bn in Hinkley Point C. Under a “Head of Terms” agreement, China will take a 20% stake in Sizewell [2] and use its own reactor technology at Bradwell.

TEAGS Chair Jon Swallow said, “This tiny community has spent the last 3 years trying to make EDF change its plans to build a campus for 3,000 workers next to a hamlet of 100 people, and send 600 lorries a day through our village. If China is involved, we fear this will push us even further from the negotiating table.

China’s poor safety record and disregard for community concerns worry us, along with a real fear of how they would treat the environment in this special place. The government may tell us that China must meet UK standards, but with China’s lack of transparency, how far can we trust these assurances?”

Criticisms of Chinese investment in our nuclear power stations have been extensively covered by the media in recent weeks, including the views of senior military and intelligence figures, that giving China a big stake in Britain’s nuclear power industry poses a threat to national security, [3] and serious safety questions about the rigour of Chinese nuclear firms. [4] China’s poor record of respecting the natural environment is a further cause for concern to the residents and countless visitors to this Heritage Coast – a precious haven for wildlife.

TEAGS member Alison Downes said: “Britain and China’s relationship has been a rollercoaster in recent years, with Britain only just clawing its way out of the diplomatic deep freeze. And if the relationship sours again, which it easily could, are we really comfortable about our nuclear power stations, with all their security concerns, being in the hands of a regime that disdains democracy, suppresses free speech, and has a poor record of environmental protection? China has already shown it can make our government bend at will – so how can we have faith that our elected leaders will enforce UK standards?”

Today’s announcement may mean that the next Stage of consultations at Sizewell C will proceed in the coming months. TEAGS wants to see evidence that EDF genuinely intends to be a “good neighbour” and will directly address the concerns of our community, which is expected to bear a disproportionate brunt of the impacts of this build. And whilst we recognise the need for employment in this area, EDF has yet to provide compelling evidence that significant numbers of local people will genuinely benefit.

Jon Swallow added: “We will continue to represent our community, strengthening our relationships with surrounding parishes, in a collective effort to ensure that if Sizewell goes ahead we get the best possible deal for everyone; minimising the impacts on those of us in the frontline and maximising the potential benefits across the wider region.

TEAGS will demand action from our elected representatives to support us in pressing for creative solutions to the challenges of building Sizewell C, including dispersed legacy housing – which this country so badly needs – and a relief road to service the biggest infrastructure project the East of England has ever seen.”

Notes:

  1. Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell [TEAGS] is a community organisation established in 2012. See www.stopsizewellc.org. It has the full and formal support of the Parish Council. TEAGS is expressly not about nuclear power yes or no, but seeks to protect the community in the face of the biggest building project ever seen in the East of England.
  2. As reported by Reuters, 3pm, 21 October 2015

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/10/21/uk-china-britain-idUKKCN0SF0PS20151021On 16 October The Sunday Times reported “At Sizewell, China is understood to be pushing for a 60% stake and may even insist on inserting its own technology — possibly its own reactor.” http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Industry/article1620628.ece

  3. The Times, 16 October 2015. Nuclear Deal with China is a Threat to National Security, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4587446.ece
  4. Errors revealed at Chinese nuclear firm seeking to invest in UK plants http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/19/steel-rods-missing-at-chinese-nuclear-firm-seeking-to-invest-in-uk-plants

TEAGS Public Meeting 21 March 2015

Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) Public Meeting demonstrates serious ongoing concern about EDF’s proposals [see a report on the meeting by EADT on 26 March 2015]

[Theberton] On 21 March more than 60 local residents heard TEAGS present a report on its work to raise concerns about EDF’s Sizewell C plans – for worker accommodation next to Eastbridge and reliance on the B1122 for all traffic – and discussed future activities. 

Three County Councillors; Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for roads, Michael Gower and Richard Smith attended and took part in robust discussion, along with James Sandbach, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal constituency.  A letter from Therese Coffey MP, reiterating her opposition to the siting of EDF’s worker accommodation, was also read out to an audience that included residents of Blythburgh, Yoxford, Middleton, Leiston and Saxmundham.

GNewmanTEAGSmeetingloresTEAGS Chair Jon Swallow said “The meeting demonstrated that the community remains deeply concerned about many of the impacts of the proposed new reactors at Sizewell, especially the siting of construction workers, and believes that a relief road is essential. We welcomed the presence of three County Councillors and urge them to lobby their colleagues and EDF to substantially alter their plans before any further consultations take place.”

He went on: “Our audience and Councillors alike raised the urgent need to increase awareness of the impacts of Sizewell C’s construction on other surrounding villages and communities. These impacts will certainly be felt much further afield than Theberton and Eastbridge, and we need to work together to make our voices heard.”

For more information contact Jon Swallow, 01728 830981 or Alison Downes, 07711 843884, info@stopsizewellc.org, www.stopsizewellc.org

SuSwallowpresentation21March2015lores

sign21march2015