The Sizewell C Project

Enquiry received via email

The Sizewell C Project

30 May 2012
Peter Lux

Enquiry

On the 28th of May 2012 a meeting was held by the " Sizewell C Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) " to discuss "about a possible third power station at Sizewell, and what the potential benefits and disadvantages of such a development would be". However, any group that was known to be anti nuclear was excluded from the meeting. This included
Communities Against Nuclear Expansion attachment 1
Shut Down Sizewell attachment 2
Sizewell Camp attachment 3
We feel that we should be able to present our concerns to such meetings and not have to stand outside leafletting or be restricted to asking a few questions. Adequate time should be alloted to such groups to raise their concerns which are relevant to that part of the consultation.

Advice given

Thank you for your email of 29th May. I think it would be helpful if I explain a little about the remit of the application process that we administer, which may explain why the Councils took the action they did.
The Panel of Inspectors that will be appointed to examine the application, if we accept it as being valid, are specifically instructed by national policy set out in the National Policy Statements (NPS) on Energy, and in particular, Nuclear Power, not to duplicate the licensing and permitting regimes of other regulators responsible for nuclear safety and the transport of nuclear waste. These agencies are the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and the County Council as the highways authority in terms of the transport of nuclear waste. For example the ONR are currently undertaking a "Generic Design Assessment" on the reactors that are being proposed in the new generation of nuclear power stations which are being proposed (AP1000 and EPR).
The NPSs also set out the Government's positive case for the need for new power generation and nuclear energy as part of the mix. Therefore, the process which we administer will not consider the need for nuclear energy. As such, if you disagree with this Government policy you should take this up with your local MP.
The examination of any future Sizewell C application that we may undertake will therefore focus on local impacts related to the construction and operation of a new nuclear power station. For example, landscape and visual impacts, transport impacts, design and access and the accommodation of construction and operation workers. This list is not exhaustive, but does not include any matters, for example, related to the reactor design or impacts on health from the operation of the power station, apart from traffic.
Please follow the link below which will take you to the Nuclear NPS which was designated as government policy last year:
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EDF Energy will be holding a series of consultation events as part of their statutory pre application duties required by the process. This will be your opportunity to influence the project, however, I recognise that you are likely to have an objection to the principle of the project. If this is the case, I would still advise that you take an interest in their consultation so that you can find out as much as you can about the proposals.
If we accept the application for examination you and anyone with an interest in the proposal will have the opportunity to register to take part in the examination. To be clear though, the Panel of Inspectors which make up the examining authority, can disregard any representations made about the merits of national policy in NPS which would include the areas I have set out above. You therefore need to think carefully about how you can put forward your views, at the appropriate time, which will be relevant to this process. You also need to consider where to direct your concerns about the matters related to the need for nuclear power and the safety / health matters explained above.
For further advice about the application process, please refer to our Advice Note 8.1 via this link: attachment 5
Our project page for Sizewell C can be found via this link:
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