Campaigners urge caution despite union's Sizewell C call
PUBLISHED: 08:18 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 28 September 2018
A union has called for a new twin nuclear reactor at Sizewell to be given the green light - but campaigners warn it cannot be rushed.
The GMB has issued the appeal after hailing the “excellent progress” on Hinkley Point C (HPC) in Somerset, two years after the project started.
It insists much could be learned from HPC, and the union points to the jobs boost Sizewell C could provide in Suffolk.
But campaigners in the area say the magnitude of the project means it cannot be rushed.
Joan Girling, secretary for the Together Against Sizewell C group, said: “EDF’s Sizewell C project cannot go ahead if at all until EDF has completed its very important third round of consultations which is scheduled to finish in 2019.
“Consideration for consultees comments then have to be undertaken and at that point EDF will send in its application for development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate, which will forward recommendations to the secretary of state for approval or refusal. So whatever GMB are saying, the process cannot and must not be hurried.”
She added: “EDF has much more work to undertake to get to a position where all the difficulties of such a massive undertaking, in a sensitive coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary for energy, said: “Starting with Sizewell C, Britain still needs at least five new low carbon nuclear power stations if we are to meet our energy needs and reduce our dependency on foreign imports of power whilst ensuring we have the reliable electricity that comes from very low carbon nuclear, and lower carbon gas, to complement our renewable energy sources.
“GMB is delighted with the excellent progress at HPC, we must now get on and get Sizewell C built as we need the reliable power to keep the lights on and to drive our economy.”
Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary for manufacturing, said: “Hinkley Point C has been a triumph for UK construction and engineering construction.
“HPC will provide 7% of the UK’s energy needs when completed and at least 25,000 quality jobs during its construction and another 900 during operation. Meanwhile 65% of the project’s £18bn construction value will be placed with the UK supply chain.”