Nuclear store gets approval

PROPOSALS to build a new store for spent nuclear waste at Sizewell power station have been backed by Suffolk county councillors.

But the decision by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet prompted a furious reaction from opponents of nuclear power after the cabinet refused to answer questions about the new store from Labour councillor Sandy Martin.

The new store will be designed to hold high-level nuclear waste encased in concrete flasks for up to 100 years.

It would be built on a point of the site five metres above sea level, which is only predicted to be flooded once every 10,000 years.

The report, presented to the cabinet by planning spokesman Guy McGregor, said the county should seek to get further concessions from Sizewell developers EDF to improve roads in the area as part of the planning deal.

Richard Smith, who has recently been elected to represent Leiston on the council, said he hoped the authority could persuade Suffolk Coastal District Council to support moves for infrastructure improvements.

Mr Martin produced a list of questions about the proposed development which he had sent to Mr McGregor in advance.

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Mr McGregor said he had replied to Mr Martin’s questions. Among the issues raised was how confident the council could be that concrete containers would last for 100 years.

“The concrete is already being used in America, and if there is any problem the storage could be reinforced,” said Mr McGregor.

Speaking after the meeting, Charles Barnett of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, was outraged that no public inquiry would be held.

“Shame on Suffolk County Council,” he said. “How on earth can we get a situation where a proposal like this which will leave us with nuclear waste for 100 years or more without a full inquiry?”

Mr McGregor said there was no point in asking for a public inquiry when the county had no objection to the proposal for a waste store.

The council has written to secretary of state for energy and climate change Chris Huhne saying it has no objections to the planning application but that it would like to see community improvements as part of an all-round package for the area.

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