Nuclear power plant consultations cancelled amid coronavirus fears

Public consultation events for the proposed Bradwell B nuclear power station have been cancelled ami

Public consultation events for the proposed Bradwell B nuclear power station have been cancelled amid coronavirus fears Picture: EDF ENERGY - Credit: Archant

Public consultations for the proposed Bradwell B power plant in Essex have been cancelled amid growing coronavirus uncertainty.

Project partners EDF and China General Nuclear (CGN) took the decision to cancel the stage one events in the interest of public safety.

In total, 10 of the events will no longer take place, including exhibitions in Brightlingsea, Great Barrow and South Woodham Ferrers.

A spokesman for the project said: 'The Bradwell B project has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation relating to Covid-19 and listening both to advice from Public Health England and to the concerns of the public, our staff and other stakeholders.

'This is the most responsible course of action, especially for an industry in which safety is always the overriding priority.'

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If successful, the plans - which have now entered the stage four phase - would see a new twin reactor power station open in Bradwell-on-Sea at the site of the partially decommissioned Magnox power station. Energy giants EDF and CGN are working in partnership to run the proposed plant under the name GNSL.

During stage four, developers, regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency enter the debate. It is at this stage the construction and its impacts come under scrutiny.

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GNSL defend the plans by arguing a new power station would help the government's net zero greenhouse gas emissions target, although has come under pressure by local anti-nuclear groups who are concerned plans are being moved forward too quickly.

Those who wish to have their say on the plans can still do so until May 27, with consultation documents still available online and at various libraries and council offices in the county.

The GNSL spokesman added: 'The engagement we have had so far with people attending our events has been extremely informative, with a wide range of views expressed. We are very grateful for the contributions made to date, whether at the events, online or via our community contact channels.'

So far, 590 people have been diagnosed with the virus - including six in Essex.

Those who wish to obtain hard copies of the documents or have questions about the proposals can contact developers on 01621 451451 or by email here.

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