Fears over new nuclear build at site

LAND close to a former nuclear power station in Essex was yesterday earmarked as a potential site for a new reactor - sparking concerns from local campaigners.

Craig Robinson

LAND close to a former nuclear power station in Essex was yesterday earmarked as a potential site for a new reactor - sparking concerns from local campaigners.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) has announced that it expects to put forward land near Bradwell for consideration as the Government looks to identify locations suitable for new nuclear build.

The news was greeted with alarm by local anti-nuclear campaigners - who fear it could pave the way for more than one power station to be built.


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It comes after British Energy said last year that Bradwell was on its shortlist of sites for potential new power stations, the first of which is expected to be operational by 2018. The existing power station on the site is currently being decommissioned.

But last night a spokesman for the NDA said there would not be more than one power station on the site.

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Professor Andrew Blowers, chairman of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) and a former member of the Government's radioactive waste management committee, said he feared yesterday's announcement could pave the way for more than one power station to be built.

“What doesn't stack up to me is that British Energy has put forward their preferred site, on land next to the old power station, and now the NDA has released more land around Bradwell which could accommodate more than one power station,” he said.

“These would be major stations with huge spent fuel stores.

“There will be serious opposition to any new power station on that site - it is highly dangerous and very close to the communities of West Mersea and Colchester.”

The NDA is not proposing to develop new nuclear plants itself and will not seek planning permission, it expects to nominate land into the Government's Strategic Siting Assessment process in order to enhance the value of its land and in turn generate income to help fund the decommissioning programme.

Last night an NDA spokesman said: “We are working closely with British Energy. We are not in competition.

“There may be more than one reactor built but not more than one power station. In relation to the land, it is not part of the current site. It is all new.”

Yesterday's announcement was made as Prime Minister Gordon Brown toured the nuclear plant at Sellafield, in Cumbria - which the NDA has also put forward as a site for a potential new build, along with land at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

Mr Brown said: “Nuclear is crucial to our low carbon future; it is crucial to our energy security and at the same time it represents a massive opportunity for the UK economy and jobs.”

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