The Sizewell C Project
To whom it may concern, I am writing to you on behalf of my constituent Miss Emma Bateman, who has raised concerns regarding the planning of Sizewell C. Miss Bateman is concerned that the National Policy Statements for Energy, namely EN1 and EN6, that are the basis for the planning of Sizewell C conflict with the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation that only one nuclear station after Hinkley should be commissioned before 2025. The reason that the planning of Sizewell C and the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation may conflict is due to the fact that EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation are planning Sizewell C alongside a site at Bradwell. The National Infrastructure Commission had also recommended that any further sites commissioned should be done on a one by one basis rather than planning for a set. Hence, Miss Bateman is concerned about the impact this may have on the proposed Sizewell C site. I would be grateful if you could outline what steps are being taken by the Sizewell Planning Inspectorate to resolve this seeming dilemma, of having plans for two nuclear sites but only the ability to build one.
Thank you for your email. Ms Bateman also wrote directly to us on this matter and we responded today with the information below, including an apology for the delay in our response: We note that the Government has committed to making a response in 2019 to the recommendations outlined in the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) dated July 2018, this will be ahead of an application being made by EDF Energy for the Sizewell C New Nuclear Power Station, which is due to be submitted in Q1 2020. In the meantime, ahead of the Government’s response to the NIA, it is for the Environment Agency and other statutory consultees to decide how they wish to consider the NIA recommendations within their responses. As you may be aware, the Government is working to produce a new National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power, and in December 2017 it published a ‘consultation on the siting criteria and process for a new national policy statement for nuclear power with single reactor capacity over 1 gigawat beyond 2025’ which can be found on this link: attachment 1 In July 2018, the Government published its response to this consultation, which can be found on this link: attachment 2 on page 40 of this document it states: ‘3.9 Government continues to believe nuclear has an important role to play in the UK’s energy future as we transition to the low-carbon economy. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the ongoing need for nuclear as part of the consultation on the draft new nuclear NPS. Continuing application of EN-6 3.10 EN-6 remains in force in its entirety for use in development consent applications for new nuclear power stations on sites listed in EN-6 that are capable of deployment before the end of 2025. Sites listed in EN-6 on which a new nuclear power station is anticipated to deploy after 2025 will continue to be considered appropriate sites and retain strong Government support during the designation of the new NPS. 3.11 The owners of such sites are able to make development consent applications, and a decision on whether to grant consent will be made under section 105 of the Planning Act 2008. Government is confident that both EN-1 and EN-6 incorporate information, assessments and statements which will continue to be important and relevant to the Secretary of State’s development consent decision for projects which will deploy after 2025. This includes statements of the need for nuclear power, as well as environmental and other assessments that continue to be relevant for projects which will deploy after 2025. As such, in deciding whether or not to grant consent to such a development the Secretary of State would, under section 105(2)(c) of the Planning Act 2008 , have regard to the content of EN1 and EN-6. Where there is no relevant change in circumstances it is likely that significant weight would be given to the policy in EN-1 and EN-6. 3.12 When designated, the new NPS will have effect for the purposes of section 104 of the Planning Act 2008 for listed sites capable of deploying between 2026-2035. Furthermore, a published new NPS in draft form would be an important and relevant consideration under section 105(2)(c) of the Planning Act 2008 in relation to any a decision is taken on an application for Development Consent before the new NPS is designated.’ I hope you find this information to be helpful.