Opponents to Bradwell B power station voice concerns as public consultations launched
PUBLISHED: 16:54 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:54 21 February 2020
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A public consultation phase into a proposed nuclear power station on the Essex coast has been launched, in what opponents say is an unexpected move by developers.
The proposed Bradwell B site would see a twin reactor nuclear power station open near Bradwell-on-Sea, at the site of the partially decommissioned Magnox power station, built and managed by Chinese energy giants China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and EDF - operating under the name GNSL.
The decision to announce the pre-application public consultations comes as the plans move into stage four - when developers, regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency take part. It is at this stage the construction and its impacts come under scrutiny.
Opponents BANNG (Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group) say the decision to launch the consultations was not mentioned in previous community newsletters issued by the company, and should only take place after stage four is completed.
A spokesman for GNSL said it is following a normal approach of running the two separate processes parallel to each other.
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Professor Andy Blowers, chairman of BANNG, said: "There are formidable regulatory hurdles to overcome before the project is ready for public consultation.
"Rather than gamble on getting it done quickly, it would be better to cut and run from a project that may be doomed to disappear."
GNSL defend the plans by arguing a new power station would help the government's net zero greenhouse gas emissions target, while attempting to curb a 35% drop in existing electricity generation capacity by the end of the decade.
In previous stages, a bus with information on proposals and feedback forms toured the county, and this time consultations will be held at various venues from March 4 until March 28.
Bradwell B's CEO Alan Raymant said: "We also want to share and hear feedback about how we're proposing to carefully manage such a large construction project in a way which protects the community and the local environment.
"It is clear that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I strongly encourage all members of our community to come along to an event, find out more about Bradwell B, and tell us how they think we could
deliver it in the best way for Essex."