MP Bernard Jenkin expresses ‘significant’ concern over Bradwell nuclear power station proposal

Bradwell Power Station.

Bradwell Power Station. - Credit: Archant

An Essex MP has claimed the proposed nuclear power station at Bradwell would cause “significant damage” to the marine environment.

Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin expressed concern over the impact the site would have on the region’s fishing industries and ecology.

His intervention comes days after Chancellor George Osborne indicated a £2 billion Government guarantee for Chinese investment in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset could pave the way for further deals, including a majority Chinese-owned nuclear generation facility at Bradwell.

It is thought the site, next to the former nuclear power station, could be shared with between owners EDF and Chinese firms to build and run a new nuclear plant.

Mr Jenkin said: “There should be no new nuclear at Bradwell, unless the concerns about damage to the estuary and storage of nuclear waste on site can both be unequivocally resolved.

“There seems no way that a new nuclear power station would avoid significant damage to the marine environment in the estuary.

“When the Magnox station was decommissioned, there was explosive recovery in the marine environment. I have been informed that a new power station would take six times more flow of water than its predecessor.

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“The estuary cannot supply the volume of cooling water without severely damaging the natural life-cycle of organisms in it. This jeopardises the ecology, our local fishing industries and goes against the aim of the Marine Conservation Zone.”

He added: “It is also a significant concern… that high level nuclear waste would have to be secured and stored on the site for some decades after a new facility has reached the end of its operating life, before it can be safely transported.

“This raises questions about how could it be stored safely over such a long period.”

EDF has a long-standing partnership with the China National Nuclear Corporation and the China General Nuclear Power Group and has said it is looking to work with them in the UK.

An EDF spokesman said: “Talks cover three successive projects. These are Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and at Bradwell. EDF would lead the first two projects and be partners in the Chinese-led third project at Bradwell.

“Before any UK power station developer applies for planning consent, there is a process of extensive public consultation. At this pre-project stage, EDF is keeping key stakeholders in Essex informed of progress.”

She added all three projects would bring “major economic benefits”.

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