Baroness Jenny Jones slams ‘disastrous’ nuclear proposals at Woodbridge conference ‘Suffolk: Sizewell and the Environment’

Audience members at the recent conference in Woodbridge on Sizewell. Picture: AIDAN SEMMENS

Audience members at the recent conference in Woodbridge on Sizewell. Picture: AIDAN SEMMENS - Credit: Archant

A high-profile baroness and environmental campaigner has labelled Suffolk’s new nuclear proposals “incredibly disastrous”.

Jenny Jones, Baroness of Moulsecoomb, made the comments at a recent meeting attended by more than 100 people in Woodbridge at which Sizewell C faced criticism from campaigners, academics and Suffolk residents.

Discussions ranged from climate change, alternative energy options and more. Baroness Jones, a Green Party representative in the House of Lords, chaired the meeting, which was intended to raise public awareness about the possible effects of Sizewell.

She said nuclear power was “so incredibly disastrous”, highlighting its impact on economic and social justice as well as the environment. “Nuclear energy will be defunct by the time it comes on line,” she said.

EDF, the company behind Sizewell C, said it will create 25,000 jobs in construction and 900 during operation, generating energy for six million homes.

“We continue to work in partnership with local schools, colleges, training providers and the local authorities to help develop an education programme and the skills required to support the construction of Sizewell C,” a spokesman added.

However, Professor Andy Blowers, a former member of the Government’s Radioactive Waste Management Committee said the industry is “facing a slow death.” “The renewables revolution is here, it is happening,” he added. “Nuclear will give us over- production of the wrong sort of energy. The technology is completely inflexible for 30 or 40 years. It displaces other forms of power we should be investing in”.

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Fears of a possible Fukushima or Chernobyl were raised. “Accidents on a nuclear sphere are normal,” Prof Blowers said.

Environmentalist Tim Nunn, founder of The Plastics Project, commented on alleged nuclear incident “cover-ups”.

“I have first-hand experience of turning up at very remote beaches in Scotland and finding them covered with radioactive waste, signs advertising this, and a man walking around in complete white protective clothing,” he said,

Long-standing concerns about traffic, a temporary workers’ accommodation campus and park-and-ride sites were also raised. Leiston residents recalled problems with “drunkenness and drugs” during previous phases.

Regan Scott, the Greens’ candidate for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “Woodbridge – get up and understand what’s going on, find a voice.”

A spokesman for EDF said: “We have completed Stage 2 consultation for Sizewell C and are analysing the feedback to inform further consultation on the proposed new station. We want to maximise the benefits of Sizewell C to the locality and mitigate the negative impacts of construction. Consultation and engagement is vital to achieving this and we encourage people to continue to engage with us.”

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