Nuclear site could withstand 9/11 attack

A NEW nuclear power station planned for the Suffolk coast would be able to withstand a 9/11-style terrorist attack, energy bosses have claimed.

Russell Claydon

A NEW nuclear power station planned for the Suffolk coast would be able to withstand a 9/11-style terrorist attack, energy bosses have claimed.

British Energy has reassured local residents that safety is of paramount importance in its plans to build a third nuclear power station at Sizewell.

The company has said a new station would be “designed to withstand the worst credible accident involving a large, fully-loaded commercial airliner”.

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They also said security at the site would be “robust” and there would be “strict control” over who was able to gain access to the plant.

The revelations came as British Energy published a series of frequently asked questions on the proposed development on its website, following on from a series of public meetings held with the local community.

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But last night renewable energy campaigners said the comments were “patronising beyond belief” to the public.

Jean McSorley, a Greenpeace senior advisor, said: “I cannot believe they just say these things. It is so patronising.

“The thing is the industry can never guarantee that any type of reactor can withstand a fully laden jet flying into it.

“The public cannot be convinced that if that happened the reactor would be safe because the industry does not really know what the impact would be.

“We could argue the probability of it happening but even if we say it is one in 100,000 years it could be that it is next year.”

Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shutdown Sizewell Campaign, said: “I have heard information that would suggest this claim is not credible.

“And I do not think it could be substantiated - that is the point. It is made on a wing and a prayer.”

He added: “A determined bunch of terrorists could just fire a missile at a power plant. The only way forward is to go for the benign, renewable forms of energy - which are at a much cheaper cost.”

The proposals for Sizewell, which are still at the outline stage, are for a set of twin reactors costing a total of nearly £6billion.

Construction work could start in 2013, with completion possible by 2018. The plant would create 900 jobs and a further 5,000 during the peak construction process.

One of the most controversial aspects of the proposals will be the building of a new access road from the B1122 road across areas of countryside, which includes part of a nature reserve designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

British Energy will arrange further meetings and events to discuss its plans for the site before any planning applications are made.

Anyone who would like to contact British Energy about the new nuclear site can do so via emailing them at: or calling 0800 1976102.

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