The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
The Sizewell C Project
Received 10 September 2020
From Timothy Roberts
“I intend to object in detail on the basis of the huge waste of capital and construction resources this project will entail plus the massive and lengthy disruption we will face across our rural community, our transport systems and our protected (AONB status) coastal environment here in rural, East Suffolk. Here in East Suffolk, we are already heavily invested in generating power for the whole of the UK (plus NB there are further plans to increase our offshore, wind power contribution, the construction and enormous power distribution impacts of which have not been taken into cumulative effect here as all projects are intended to build over the same 15 year period) and I do not believe we need two nuclear reactors of unproven design and this size on top. I also believe that the gigantic capital required would be far better invested in new and innovative green power and conservation measures which will have a far longer and greater benefit for all UK citizens, our macro-economy and export market potential, and potentially East Suffolk if located in our “Energy Gateway”. Overall, though, I do not believe that this project will be financially viable nor sustainable and I am most concerned about: 1. The basic thermal power generation technology being employed here which is 30 years out of date as admitted by EDF’s own board in France (where it is coincidentally diversifying from nuclear as requested by the French Government) – thermal nuclear is a technology of the distant past in most developed countries, e.g. USA, Germany and Scandinavia 2. The need for the developers to raise assured capital in advance through a Residual Asset Based (RAB) model as they have proposed to UK Government, but interestingly has not yet been fully endorsed. This comprises an “open cheque book” for a project which may not even finally get built or work, given EDF’s poor construction record of its EPRs globally 3. The involvement of a French parent company - set against BREXIT - and a Chinese power company - set against growing global concern about Chinese influence; its domination of many global markets; and its growing military power, all operating under a communist regime of dubious humanity) who are both desperate not to underwrite UK power infrastructure but to gain improved access to the global nuclear power market through this UK expansion of its activities as well as help cross-fund the massive cost of decommissioning EDF’s ageing plants in France 4. As proven over the recent coronavirus lockdown, the sheer inflexibility of nuclear power has been proven to be too onerous with the UK Government having to subsidise Sizewell B’s reduced production under a horrendous cost underwriting model, and especially as EDF Energy is a private entity 5. This plant will not be a net exporter of energy for SIX years after commencing generation (if it can) as the energy content of 13.5 million tonnes of construction materials and the other resources required to build Sizewell C is so massive and this should be compared to alternative and less intensive power generation and storage systems, such as wave, wind, solar, hydrogen and other energy generation from waste sources, which are much more flexible 6. There will be no significant, long term gain for our local economy and its infrastructure (in fact there will be many losses, as with tourism) as most resources are planned to be ephemeral and the employment prospects will draw people from far outside our community with limited prospects for our own community and its commerce. Please note that the models promulgated by Sizewell C’s developers are based on spurious data emanating from the sister plant being constructed at Hinckley C in Somerset which is quite different from a socio-geographical perspective 7. Longer term, as the UK nuclear industry has irresponsibly still not after nearly 40 years since the formation of NIREX, determined and created safe disposal or storage facilities for medium- and low-level radioactive wastes in the UK and, worse, Sizewell is already a significant waste storage facility for low- and medium-level radioactive wastes, the operation and eventual decommissioning of the proposed twin reactors is of fundamental, national environmental and security concern for centuries to come. This also adds to the potential costs and legacy impacts of decommissioning any nuclear power plant as the UK Government has discovered to its dismay over recent years in relation to the first- and second-generation nuclear power plants which are now leaving service 8. The immediate area surrounding the development is unique in terms of its wildlife, habitats, coastal scenery as well as intrinsic value and, no matter to what extent Sizewell C’s developers intend to mitigate the barely-admitted impacts in each area, it is inevitable that the biodiversity of our coastal margins, the stable livelihood of our existing community and our growing and valuable tourism market in East Suffolk will be significantly and negatively impacted.”