Region set for two new nuclear stations

SIZEWELL has been listed as a potential new site for a nuclear power station as part of locations unveiled by the Government today.

SIZEWELL has been listed as a potential new site for a nuclear power station as part of locations unveiled by the Government today.

Nine of the locations, including Sizewell and Dungeness in Kent, have already been home to nuclear reactors.

The sites have been nominated by companies interested in building the stations and have been initially approved by the Government.

Also in the list is Hartlepool in Cleveland; Heysham in Lancashire; Sellafield in Cumbria; Braystones in Cumbria; Kirksanton in Cumbria; Wylfa Peninsula in Anglesey; Oldbury in Gloucestershire; Hinkley Point in Somerset and Bradwell in Essex.

The proposals form part of the Government's plan to build a new generation of nuclear power stations to help close what has been described as a “generation gap” expected as existing nuclear and coal-fired stations shutdown.

Members of the public are now being asked for their views during a month-long consultation period.

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EDF Energy, which has nominated Sizewell for twin C and D reactors, said no time scale had yet been put forward. “We are waiting for a Government decision and there will then be an inquiry.

“Ministers want the first of the new nuclear reactors opened by 2017, but we have no indication where that will be.”

Mike Graham, national secretary of Prospect, the union representing 15,000 scientists, engineers and specialists in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industry, said: “Today's welcome news provides the next foundation stone towards nuclear new build becoming a reality.

“Not only is this fantastic news for the UK economy, but also a necessity in order for the UK to meet the twin challenges of climate change and energy security.

“It will buck the current trend in relation to jobs and employment by giving local people opportunities and local jobs. Let's exploit it to the advantage of the UK supply chain and local communities.

“This decision will open the door to thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs in the near future. The new power stations are due to be up and running by 2017 and will also create highly skilled jobs for more than 65 years - for this, the next and future generations.

“There will be further jobs created for contractors responsible for outage and maintenance in the new power stations.”

But Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shutdown Sizewell Campaign said: “The Government is going down the wrong path in proposing that we should have more nuclear power stations.

“We should be looking at benign non polluting sources of energy such as wind turbines, tidal, solar and biomass solutions.

“Nuclear is not safe. With the heightened risk of terrorism, it's fool-hardy to build more. They are very expensive and they leave a legacy of dangerous waste lasting 250,000 years.”

- For more reaction to this story, see tomorrow's paper.