Reaction Simone Rossi Sizewell Feasibility

4 April 2018

The Times today quoted Simone Rossi of EDF as saying about Sizewell C, “This is the year where we need to understand whether this whole thing is really feasible or not. If we were to conclude that maybe it’s not feasible, then at that point maybe we say we are not in a position to continue the project.” The paper reported that EDF was threatening to halt development of Sizewell C unless it received assurances that a viable funding model existed. [1] EDF later reportedly distanced itself from The Times article. [2]

Reacting to these reports, Paul Collins and Alison Downes of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell said:

“This is the second story this year concerning EDF’s desperation to save costs. Our almost non-existent faith that EDF will work in the best interests of east Suffolk’s environment and communities has taken yet another blow. It seems impossible that the aspirations of the project being an environmental exemplar, or the adoption of creative approaches to tackling issues such as transport and worker accommodation will be realised. Ultimately this special corner of Suffolk will be the loser.

Simone Rossi is making a great deal of noise about the future of this project. He needs to recognise that many of the delays have been of the company’s own making, and we think he owes it to the people of east Suffolk to come and hear our concerns face to face. We further urge government and our elected representatives not to be swayed by EDF’s imperatives and to robustly ensure that the company does not ride roughshod over affected communities.”

TEAGS is advocating:
* For EDF to reveal its Environmental Impact Assessments and demonstrate how its construction proposals reflect the very special circumstances of Suffolk’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its unique environmentally-sensitive habitats including RSPB Minsmere, and how it will minimise habitat destruction, hydrology impacts, noise, light pollution and disruption to wildlife and visitors.
* An accommodation strategy fully integrated with the needs of local people for affordable housing. Despite strong objections, after Stage 1 EDF narrowed its options to a single location for a campus for 2,400 workers at Eastbridge, prematurely discarding other sites that have potential for legacy housing. Independent consultants Boyer and Cannon have identified a number of other possible sites with this potential.
* A dedicated access road. EDF admitted in November 2017 that road transportation is one of the most challenging aspects of the project and that it does not yet know if the B1122 or the junction with the A12 at Yoxford are fit for purpose.
* An open and transparent approach to understanding coastal processes and landside hydrology. EDF have to date avoided discussions on these issues with relevant stakeholders such as Suffolk Coast Against Retreat.

1. The Times…/nuclear-site-in-danger-without….
2. East Anglian Daily Times…/edf-denies-threat-to-abandon-work-o…

Campaigners concerned that cost cutting will affect mitigation

Sizewell C could pump £200m into region’s economy every year

PUBLISHED: 15:29 17 January 2018 |

EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi. Picture: EDF ENERGY

EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi. Picture: EDF ENERGY

EDF Energy officials said the Suffolk nuclear twin reactor power plant could cost 20% less than anticipated, and the project could inject up to £200 million a year into the county’s economy.

EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi chatting to guests about his visit to Hinkley Point C. Picture: EDF ENERGYEDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi chatting to guests about his visit to Hinkley Point C. Picture: EDF ENERGY
On a visit to see the progress on the £20bn Hinkley Point C (HPC) complex, EDF Energy chief executive Simone Rossi said there was potential to “significantly reduce” costs for Sizewell C.


He said: “The key to reducing the construction cost is replication. Doing something again with the same design makes it easier and cheaper. Let me give you an example.

“HPC has eight emergency generators. They had to be designed and certified to meet the standards required for nuclear safety.

“That means the first two will cost £38m, but the next six will be half the price. At Sizewell, none of that development or certification work needs to be done again. All its emergency generators will be at the lower price.

EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi. Picture: EDF ENERGYEDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi. Picture: EDF ENERGY

“Repeating that experience countless times for a power station at Sizewell that is largely identical to Hinkley Point C makes a capital cost reduction of 20% possible.”

Sizewell C could also be cheaper because the site has a grid connection capable of handling a bigger power station which could mean “substantial savings”.

Mr Rossi said the company and Government were exploring “alternative financing models” that can create the conditions where institutional investors like pension funds can participate when they were not able to before, again cutting costs.

Jim Crawford, EDF Energy’s nuclear development director for the proposed Sizewell C station, said the promised impact on skills and jobs in Somerset was already coming to fruition.

He said: “An estimated £200m is being spent in the south-west regional economy every year through the project. I will work hard in our region to bring the same benefits to the east from Sizewell C, as well as Bradwell B in Essex.

“I know Suffolk and the wider region can take advantage of the opportunities offered due to the entrepreneurial spirit of local business and the talent of people working in education, training and economic development.”

“EDF Energy has now been through two stages of formal consultation at Sizewell C and we are working with the Government over the coming months to see if we can take the project forward. We’re doing that because we see a unique opportunity for the proposed power station to provide the country with reliable, low carbon electricity at a significantly lower price than Hinkley Point C.

“That’s because Sizewell C will almost be identical to Hinkley Point.

“Repeating the approved design – already adapted for Britain – will save a lot of money.

“The chance for customers to benefit from these cost reductions means it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t try to make Sizewell C happen. Nuclear contributes more jobs than other technologies too – not just the 5,600 who will build the power station, but also the 900 who will operate it for many decades.

“Sizewell C also matters because Britain still needs to have reliable low carbon energy source like nuclear in its future energy mix. We have a lot of wind in Britain and windfarms like those off Suffolk’s coast have an important and growing part to play in Britain’s energy future.

“EDF Energy supports wind development and thinks there should be as much as reasonably possible where the wind is strongest, in Scotland and offshore. That makes sense because wind prices have fallen in recent years. But wind can’t provide all the answers.

“Britain needs a low carbon energy that is reliable. With wind there is too little – or too much and the back-up power is an extra cost. Batteries have a role to play but the very high costs of battery storage over long periods means it is best suited for balancing our grid over minutes rather than hours. The UK just isn’t sunny enough for solar to provide energy to match demand.”

Campaigners though voiced fears that shaving up to £4billion off the cost of Sizewell C could hit mitigation measures.

Paul Collins and Alison Downes, of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, said there cannot be a “one size fits all” approach.

They said: “This leaves us concerned that our environment and our communities will become victims of EDF’s cost-cutting, and that measures we consider vital – such as a dedicated access road and an accommodation strategy fully integrated with the needs of local people for affordable housing – will be swept aside.

“The fragile Sizewell coast, that hosts unique environmentally-sensitive habitats and RSPB Minsmere, requires a complex and highly considered approach.

“EDF’s proposals must reflect the very special circumstances of Suffolk’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we urge Simone Rossi to come to Suffolk and see for himself.”

EDF to consider alternative transport routes and sites for SZC workers’ campus

Read online.  East Anglian Daily Time, 17 November 2017 by Richard Cornwell

Alternative sites for an accommodation complex for 2,400 power station construction workers will be examined in detail – and have not been ruled out at this stage.

Officials from EDF Energy say they will also examine the possibility of further improvements to the B1122 road from the A12 at Yoxford to Leiston.

EDF’s preferred site for the Sizewell C workers’ campus is near Eastbridge and Minsmere, but has generated fierce objection from campaigners worried about its impact on the environment and from people living nearby.

Consultants Boyer and Cannon working for Suffolk County Council have suggested a number of alternative locations, near Saxmundham and Leiston, plus splitting accommodation across several sites.

Last night officials from EDF met with representatives of parish councils and a wide range of organisations to report back on the feedback – more than 1,000 responses – to the Sizewell C stage two consultation, which closed in February.

Carly Vince, head of strategic planning for EDF Energy Nuclear New Build, said the company would be considering each of the sites put forward by the county council consultants and would report back on these as part of the stage three consultation to either justify a new site or to justify the Eastbridge option.

She said Eastbridge had become the preferred option after the stage one consultation when other sites were rejected, and other potential locations had already been ruled out before this as part of initial preparatory work.

Eastbridge is EDF’s preferred site because it would be on the doorstep of the construction site, allowing workers to walk to work, taking cars off the road, allow better management of the workforce, and reduce demand for short-term accommodation elsewhere, limiting impact on the tourist and private housing sector.

She said: “We will look at each in more detail in terms of the environmental impact, the effect on community and functionality. We have not ruled out any sites.”

EDF has proposed a new junction at the A12/B1122 at Yoxford, either traffic lights or a roundabout, which is preferred by the public and is needed because the junction is nearing capacity, and also some improvements along the B1122. The route will be reassessed to see if more work is required.

EADT – Protest group asks new EDF chief to visit Suffolk to hear Sizewell C views

Members of Sizewell C protest group TEAGS with protest banners outside Endeavour House before a Suffolk County Council cabinet meeting. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Members of Sizewell C protest group TEAGS with protest banners outside Endeavour House before a Suffolk County Council cabinet meeting. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Campaigners have invited EDF Energy’s new boss to meet them and see first-hand the area which will be affected by Sizewell C, should the twin reactor nuclear power station be built

Alison Downes and Paul Collins, co chairs of Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell C (TEAGS), have issued the invitation to Simone Rossi, who takes over today as the company’s new chief executive. [Read the Open Letter here.]

TEAGS wants to put its concerns to Mr Rossi face-to-face and give him a guided tour of the area, including Minsmere and the county’s Heritage Coast, and Theberton and Eastbridge, on the front line of the plans for Sizewell.

His predecessor Vincent de Rivaz said only this week that he expected Sizewell C to be built and generating electricity by 2031.

In their open letter to Mr Rossi, Ms Downes and Mr Collins said: “As EDF’s proposals currently stand, 2,400 construction workers are to be housed in temporary accommodation on the boundary of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and 900 lorries will be pounding down a country road through our villages, shaking listed buildings and residents alike.

“We are currently awaiting feedback on EDF’s second stage consultation, but unless radical changes are made, we will be forced to conclude that the consultations are purely symbolic and that EDF has never had any intention of addressing our concerns.

“We hope that you will help to repair relations with our community by visiting us, so that we may discuss our concerns directly with you.”

They said Mr Rossi, in his new role, had “an opportunity to bring a fresh approach to tackling the cumulative and unacceptable impacts” of constructing Sizewell C.

These included the social and environmental consequences of the workers’ campus and urged him to re-examine all options including split-sites; the impact of a “massive increase” in heavy vehicles using the B1122, congestion at its A12 junction, and the need for a Sizewell Relief Road, as proposed for Sizewell B; and the “cumulative impact on the fragile environment” of the Minsmere and Sizewell levels, surrounding the AONB and on the tourist-based economy of the east Suffolk area.

EDF Energy did not wish to comment on TEAGS’ letter to Mr Rossi.

Letter to the Editor, EADT 16 September 2017

Our letter in response to Paul Geater’s article in the East Anglian Daily Times was published by the EADT on 16 September.

The Writing on the Wall for Sizewell C?

It was heartening to read Paul Geater (14 September) adding his voice to the growing chorus questioning whether we should shackle future generations to the huge – and increasingly uncompetitive – costs of nuclear power. As he says, within a few years, off shore wind will be producing electricity at half the cost.

With June’s damming report from the National Audit Office about how Hinkley Point was a bad deal, and the government’s review into cost-effective energy due next month, perhaps the UK’s commitment to massive new nuclear developments will at last begin to unravel. However in the meantime, EDF will continue to advance its plans for the construction of Sizewell C and to ignore the vociferous representations from local communities about the impact and human cost of its proposals.

Paul Geater rightly describes the blight for Eastbridge and Theberton which will result from the proposed five storey ‘temporary’ accommodation campus ‘built not so much on their doorstep as in their front room’. But EDF plans are even direr – with huge excavations and 40 metre high spoil heaps 100 yards from Eastbridge, not to mention the dust and noise from excavating machinery and dumper trucks.

EDF will very shortly be revealing which of their plans they are prepared to modify in the light of community objections to its Stage 2 proposals earlier this year. At the very least, we would expect EDF to commit to a full review of its accommodation plans in the light of the independent report published in July by Boyer and Cannon, commissioned by Suffolk County Council, which demonstrated that there were several alternative sites – including the option of split sites – with considerably reduced impacts to the Eastbridge site, that offered the legacy potential of much needed and affordable, permanent housing.

Our region and our precious environment deserves no less.

Alison Downes & Paul Collins
Co Chairs,
Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell C (TEAGS)

Is this the end of the nuclear age? Why the writing is on the wall for Sizewell C plans

Is this the end of the nuclear age? Why the writing is on the wall for Sizewell C plans

By Paul Geater, East Anglian Daily Times, 14 September 2017

All my life, nuclear power has been a part of Suffolk life – and for 50 years it has felt as if it would always be there.

As a child in the 1960s I remember Sizewell power station (later Sizewell A) being built just down the road from our home near Leiston.

As a young reporter in the early 1980s I remember the Sizewell B inquiry, and for three years I covered the construction of that plant as our Leiston-based reporter.

But an announcement earlier this week indicated to me that Sizewell C will never be built.

It suggested that nuclear energy, for years seen as the cutting edge of technology, is now out of date – and due to be consigned to the history books.

This week it was confirmed that electricity from offshore wind turbines was now cheaper than it is from nuclear power stations – and that within a few years it will be only half the cost.

And wind and solar power is now becoming much more reliable. Huge new offshore turbines can now add significant power to the grid with only a light breeze.

You might need extra power capacity to come on and go off during weather dips – but nuclear is not the technology to supply that. Nuclear plants have to be on all the time; you can’t switch them on and off in a matter of seconds.

For Suffolk, that has a tremendous impact, and it does need us to reconsider much of what we have considered as the future direction of the county’s development. But in essence it could turn out to be really good news.

What is the point of going ahead with a new Sizewell C nuclear plant? Isn’t it more sensible to start looking at building more wind turbines in the North Sea.

And, whisper it quietly, it makes even more sense to build more onshore wind turbines. Their power is cheaper than the offshore wind farms. It is ludicrous not to develop more of them.

I know many people seem to think these things are the work of Satan himself – but we really do have to get real!

Some vociferous critics might not like their look, feeling that “modern architecture” is out of place in the countryside, but I’m not the only person to think wind turbines can add interest to a landscape and are a fine 21st century architectural contribution to Britain’s built environment.

I don’t look at the end of the nuclear era with any great sense of triumph or satisfaction. I still see nuclear plants as an important green power generation contribution of their time. They are better for the planet than huge coal, gas or oil power stations. I’ve always considered myself to be pro-nuclear.

But they do have safety issues that cost billions to overcome – and make the cost of their electricity uneconomic. There is none of this baggage with wind or solar power.

If I’m right and this renewable news does prove to be the death-knell for Sizewell C plans, there will be relief in the villages around Eastbridge and Theberton that were going to be blighted by a huge campus built not so much on their doorstep as in their front hall!

But it will prompt concern for villages along the A12 who saw EDF cash as the way of ensuring they finally get the Four Villages by-pass.

It is wise that the proposals for the by-pass, published earlier this week, are not dependent on EDF funding. But clearly the financial backing of a huge energy giant would have helped.

Now the county council will have to promote the route to the Government and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership by stressing the links to Lowestoft and the offshore energy industry.

That has to be the future for Suffolk’s energy coast – and the figures suggest there could be a really bright future for the offshore energy industry that our ports are well-placed to support.

Of course, the Sizewell nuclear power stations will continue to be a feature of the coast for many more decades – Sizewell B will carry on generating until the middle of the century – but it’s difficult to see the nuclear dynasty continuing.

The fact is our technology has moved on – and we need to face that fact.

Local resident threatens to stop trucks in passionate election debate on Sizewell C

DSCN1674At a ‘standing room only’ debate on the impacts of Sizewell C at Theberton Church on Sunday evening (4 June), the loudest applause went to Lynda Whitbread, a local resident who threatened to lie down in front of EDF’s trucks if she had to.

The Question Time-style event was convened by three local campaign groups and featured four of the five candidates standing for the Suffolk Coastal constituency in Thursday’s election: Cameron Matthews (Labour), Eamonn O’Nolan (Green), James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats) and Philip Young (Independent). The incumbent MP Therese Coffey sent a statement saying that “out of respect for the victims of (the London) terrorist attack, I do not feel it appropriate to be publicly campaigning”. Bill Turnbull, broadcaster, journalist and local resident chaired the debate.

231 local residents from Yoxford, Middleton, Westleton, Theberton and Eastbridge, and from as far afield as Woodbridge, crammed into the 12th-century church. They asked passionate and occasionally angry questions about the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station, including road safety, workers’ accommodation, the environment and nuclear power in general. EDF’s secrecy in not releasing data on coastal erosion data or property impacts was also highlighted, as was the potential of a new Relief Road.

Independent Philip Young said that he was against Sizewell A, let alone B and C, and that “from a moral and environmental point of view, nuclear is a disaster and very expensive.” Describing himself as ‘colourful’, he said “can’t we create green jobs and tourism jobs rather than have disastrous high impact construction for 10 years?”

James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats) stated that he was not anti-nuclear, but had an open mind. “Looking at the evidence… the burdens and costs far outweigh the benefits, so I am against Sizewell C,” he said, quoting “huge costs” and “the massive impacts concerning the environment, roads and campus”. If it is to be built, a Relief Road was “essential”.

Eamonn O’Nolan (Green) said that Suffolk people are sometimes too subtle. “We need to make our voices heard. Be unreasonable – activate, activate, activate.” He mentioned that anti-fracking protesters are using ‘Lock Ons’ which allow four or five people to chain themselves across a road, and which take several hours to remove.  

Labour’s Cameron Matthews expressed concern about lack of emergency services and called for Sizewell traffic to be “taken off the roads” with new road safety measures. He said that “any accommodation should be able to be converted to social housing. Temporary is a waste of money – we could spread out the accommodation by moving it south towards Ipswich as an example.”

Conservative Therese Coffey’s response to Sizewell C’s recent consultation was read out, in which she urged EDF to “conduct a full appraisal of alternative (accommodation) sites prior to Stage 3 consultation, and “set out in detail… why (road) options explored for Sizewell B, namely the D2 route, haven’t been investigated for Sizewell C.”

The event was convened by B1122 Action Group, Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group. A full write-up of the proceedings can be read online at

For comment and photos contact:

Charles Macdowell, B1122 Action Group, 07788 755300

Alison Downes, Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, 07711 843884.


Wentworth Hotel owner fears Sizewell C will deter tourists forever

Read online:  02 March 2017 by Richard Cornwell

Hotelier Michael Pritt , owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh,
has deep concerns about the impact of Sizewell C on tourism in the coastal area. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hotelier Michael Pritt , owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh, has deep concerns about the impact of Sizewell C on tourism in the coastal area. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A leading Suffolk hotelier has voiced fears that the construction of Sizewell C could deter huge numbers of tourists from visiting the county – and that many may never return.

Hotelier Michael Pritt , owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh,
has deep concerns about the impact of Sizewell C on tourism in the coastal area. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHotelier Michael Pritt , owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh, has deep concerns about the impact of Sizewell C on tourism in the coastal area. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN
Michael Pritt says the £14billion ten-year project to build the twin reaction will cause “irreparable damage and destroy this part of Suffolk as we know it now”.

Mr Pritt, who owns the Wentworth hotel, in Aldeburgh, and stresses he is not anti nuclear, has labelled the project Sizewell C and D as it will feature two reactors.

He said: “Not only will these plans have an enormous physical impact on the Suffolk countryside and coast but also have a drastic impact on the tourism in the area.

“The argument of increased employment opportunities has often been used to justify this tearing apart of our countryside but jobs connected to tourism far outweigh those provided by EDF and many of these jobs will be in jeopardy.

“Anyone in a tourist-related business who is rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of business to be gained from Sizewell C and D needs to ask themselves why tourists would want to visit this area once construction starts and would they ever return when Sizewell C and D is completed.

“The construction compound, also situated near Eastbridge and the Minsmere bird reserve, will destroy ancient walks and bridleways, woodlands and marshes. An access road is planned which will cross the Sizewell marshes, a stunning part of our countryside and irreplaceable.

“The sheer scale of destruction is truly unimaginable and by the time you see it happening it will be too late to do anything to save it.”

An EDF Energy spokeswoman said: “More than 3,500 people took part in the Sizewell C Stage 2 consultation. Each issue raised will now be considered and used to help inform final proposals which will be subject to further consultation.

“EDF Energy works with the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation and the group is represented on the project Community Forum to ensure their views are shared.

“We recognise that the construction of Sizewell C will have benefits and impacts so our focus is on consultation and learning from stakeholders so we can maximise the benefits.”

Study assessing ‘up to eight options’ for Sizewell C workforce campus

slb 016 Sizewell C Reaction 06~1

Research is being carried out into a number of alternative options for a campus for workers constructing the Sizewell C nuclear power station.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell nuclear complex would look after construction of Sizewell C. Image: EDF EnergyA computer-generated image of how the Sizewell nuclear complex would look after construction of Sizewell C. Image: EDF Energy
Current proposals for accommodation for 2,400 workers at Eastbridge, near Leiston, have been heavily criticised – with most councils and campaigners deeply unhappy at the location.

Now it has been revealed Suffolk County Council is carrying out research into what campaigners believe could be up to eight alternative sites or options for the campus.

Some campaigners would prefer to see several small sites located around the area rather than one huge village-sized block, while others believe the accommodation should be much further away – the edge of Ipswich or Lowestoft.

In its latest consultation, EDF puts forward only the site at of the junction of the B1122 and Eastbridge Road but various options for it – with buildings four or five storeys high depending on whether sports facilities are on-site or built in Leiston.

EDF feels a campus close to the construction site will have operational advantages and reduce bus journeys.

The county council says it understands the rationale of an accommodation campus located at or close to the construction site, but “remains concerned about the environmental impacts of the proposed site location, which may cause an overload on the sensitive environment of the AONB”.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) said: “We do not understand EDF’s refusal to properly consider and report on alternative campus locations, perhaps multiple sites, in urban settings with suitable infrastructure in place.

“EDF insists that a single on-site campus is more ‘efficient’ – for the developer, perhaps, but not for residents or tourists.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “We are in the process of producing a report looking at the options surrounding the accommodation for those working on the Sizewell C project.

“When it is complete the report will be shared with all stakeholders to help inform further consultation and discussion with EDF Energy.

“We’ve asked EDF Energy to look again at their current plans as we are not convinced and we believe they need to do more work surrounding our concerns.”