Is tide turning against Sizewell C? Opponents are feeling encouraged
PUBLISHED: 08:40 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 23 April 2019
Campaigners claim the proposals for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast have been "exposed as entirely inadequate" - and believe it cannot be built.
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) feel the tide is turning against the proposals for two new nuclear reactors and claim people will decide the evidence is “overwhelming and terminal”.
EDF Energy believes nuclear power has a “strong future”, work is under way on its Hinkley Point C new build and plans for the Suffolk project are progressing well.
However, TASC chairman Pete Wilkinson says the most recent plans shown in the company's stage three consultation for Sizewell C have been “exposed as entirely inadequate”.
He said: “Since the delivery of a 1,500-signature petition to the Leader of Suffolk County Council, we have seen a surge in support for our position of outright opposition to Sizewell, local artists and actors voicing their concerns and the RSPB warning that the most important bird reserve in the country, Minsmere, is potentially threatened by the Sizewell development.
“Our petitions are attracting more and more signatures and we are convinced that the hurdles to building such a complicated and dangerous plant in such a confined and remote area will be recognised as overwhelming and terminal.
“With recent increased media interest in the issue, people are waking up to the sheer scale of the environmental and infrastructure changes the plant will require and they are becoming more and more vocal in opposition. It is very encouraging.”
TASC has voiced concerns over the suitability of the Sizewell site, claiming it is too small for the proposed development, potential loss of SSSI, visual intrusion, noise and light pollution and the negative impact it will have on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and Heritage Coast.
TASC secretary Joan Girling said: “Our detailed report clearly demonstrates three things: we require much more information from EDF before we can fully appreciate the impact of their plans; even on the information available, it is clear that the dis-benefits associated with Sizewell C far outweigh the putative benefits, and EDF must plan for a fourth round of consultation.”
An EDF spokesman said the company is currently carefully considering the feedback from the recent consultation and will take this into account as it progresses its plans towards a Development Consent Order application.
The company believes the project will have huge economic benefits for Suffolk – and says recent experience at Sizewell C's sister station Hinkley shows spending with businesses in Somerset has already topped £1billion, 1,700 people living in the county are working on the project and 8,500 people have received training.
Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director said: “In Somerset, we are delivering on our ambition to make a difference to people and boost business. Companies such as Poundfield, based near Stowmarket, are already supplying Hinkley Point and others supply Sizewell B but the future opportunities for Suffolk businesses at Sizewell C are even greater.”