Andy Blowers ponders the Sizewell C development and what may eventually befall Bradwell in the BANNG Column for Regional Life, April, 2019. To the north, forty miles from Bradwell, the tranquil, low-lying and beautiful Suffolk coastline is abruptly interrupted by bulky, stark white and grey concrete structures – huge boxes, prominent from the land and sea and familiar to passengers on incoming flights. This discordant intrusion is the Sizewell nuclear complex consisting of Sizewell A, a former Magnox nuclear station (similar to Bradwell A) now being decommissioned, Sizewell B, with its distinctive white dome, the only PWR (Pressurised water Reactor) and the last nuclear station to be brought into operation in the UK in 1995. Adjoining it at the northern end of the site is an area, larger than A and B combined, designated for Sizewell C, after Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the second of the new nuclear reactors under development by the foreign, state-backed companies, EDF of France and CGN of China. The partnership has a third project, a proposed new nuclear power station at Bradwell: Bradwell B. Although presently some way behind Sizewell, the Bradwell developers are ramping up the project with a view to operating by the early 2030s. It is a project backed by the China/UK ‘Golden Handshake’ in 2015, welcomed by Maldon District Council for the jobs it might bring and opposed by communities around the estuary, fearful of the risks to security, safety and public health that it will inevitably bring. Above all there is the environmental devastation that will be inflicted on present and future generations. Once built, these stations will operate for at least sixty years and once shut down the detritus of highly radioactive wastes, including spent fuel, will be left to decay until removed or engulfed by the rising oceans. As the Sizewell project reaches its final stages of decision making the population has, at last, woken up to the terrible misfortune that awaits this precious part of Suffolk. The population, from those living in nearby Leiston to those in villages further afield, to those who have chosen this attractive area in which to live or retire, including a host of celebrities and artists, are all campaigning against the devastation to precious environments this massive behemoth will bring. Even the developers recognise that the development ‘would not be able to take place without some significant impacts’.
BANNG 12th April 2019 read more »