Using container ships to deliver Sizewell C cargo could 'cut HGVs by 50%'

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast - Credit: EDF Energy

Calls have been made for materials for the construction of the proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant to be shipped to the site in containers - to take lorries off the roads.

EDF Energy has put forward changes to the plans for the £20billion twin reactor to reduce road traffic with substantial use of rail and sea instead.

This would include building a 400metre jetty - which it has been suggested could be used for deliveries by container ships.

Councillor Andy Smith.

Andy Smith has put forward proposals for container ships to deliver materials to Sizewell C - Credit: Archant

Andy Smith, who sits on Felixstowe Town Council, has sent a personal letter to the Planning Inspectorate - which is currently considering the Development Consent Order for the power station - asking that if permission is given, the use of containerised cargo be part of the requirements.

Mr Smith said there were many types of materials which could be transported in boxes including  building, plumbing and electrical materials, electronic equipment, not to mention everyday site operational supplies of food and other consumables, and it was a "great opportunity".

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He said: "It suddenly dawned on me that if you’re going to build a 400m jetty, into quite deep water, why not bring in small container ships with the vast bulk of the HGV load?

"If fully taken up, this is a concept which would change the whole shape of the debate on HGVs, and more trains (problematic, and potentially at the expense of rail capacity to the Port of Felixstowe)."

Shipping containers

Could shipping containers transport materials for Sizewell C? - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

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Mr Smith said if feasible, and adopted with emphasis, the proposal could have capability to remove at least 50%, and possibly substantially more, of the proposed HGV traffic.

A spokeswoman for Sizewell C said: "We are grateful to councillor Andy Smith for sharing his proposal with us. Over the years he has made thoughtful and constructive contributions in the community interest on the Sizewell C Project.  

"The material we need to transport and the size and scale of the structure that would be required for container shipping at Sizewell makes this particular idea difficult to achieve.

"However, we have submitted changes to our Sizewell C plans which will see a large increase in deliveries by sea, significantly reducing the need for HGVs on local roads.

"The majority of freight will be transported to Sizewell C by sea and rail.

"We will continue to welcome views which can help to reduce the impacts of construction and maximise the benefit of our project."

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