Engineers to begin ground testing at new Bradwell nuclear power station site

The decommissioned Bradwell nuclear power station. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

The decommissioned Bradwell nuclear power station. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Investigation works will begin shortly around Bradwell Power Station as part of proposals for a new nuclear reactor at the site.

Bradwell Power Generation Company – a partnership between Chinese firm CGN and EDF – has written to nearby residents advising them that teams will soon carry out surveys, including digging bore holes to test the ground around the site.

The consortium is looking to build a new nuclear power station next to the decommissioned plant at Bradwell, and the public will be invited to comment on the design proposals this winter as part of the regulatory approval process.

The new design is based on that in use currently at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

The letter, signed by Zhu Minhong and Richard Mayson – chief executive and deputy of Bradwell Power Generation Company – says: “Due to the early stage of the proposals for Bradwell B, there is currently no overall defined timeline for the project. We will keep you informed as we move forward, but it is a lengthy process over many years and every site and nuclear proposal is different.

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“As our detailed proposals are developed we will undertake in-depth public consultation before progressing.”

The investigation work is not expected to affect residents.

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The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) said it would be more useful if the firm answered questions on the issues which really concern local people, such as how many reactors are envisaged, the physical scale of the development, how many workers there will be and what will be done with the waste.

A BANNG statement added: “The letter indicates the Chinese are beginning investigation of the site ‘to inform the power station proposals’. They must surely soon recognise, if they have not already, that this site is simply inappropriate for a nuclear power station.

“It is environmentally too precious and increasingly at the mercy of the forces of climate change, which will render it wholly unsuitable for such a dangerous and long-term nuclear commitment.

“The letter says, ‘it is a lengthy process over many years and every nuclear proposal is different’. We can only conclude that, sooner or later, CGN and the regulators will reach the obvious conclusion – that this project will not run.

“Better to pull out now than continue a futile process that wastes money and raises unnecessary anxiety among the Blackwater communities.”

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