Reports by Craig Robinson
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
ENERGY giant EDF Energy has today revealed the first details of its proposals to build a third nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast.
THE construction of Sizewell C is likely to generate thousands of jobs and be worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the local economy.
EDF Energy say the project will generate £100m a year during construction and £40m a year thereafter.
Meanwhile they also claim that during the lifetime of the construction period some 25,000 on-site employment opportunities will be created.
At its peak the construction site workforce would be around 5,600 people, while other jobs would also be created off site via the supply chain and through increased economic activity in the area. Meanwhile during operation of the power station there will be around 900 permanent jobs available.
The company has also said it will create an employment brokerage service to support local people looking for work at Sizewell C - with a particular emphasis on the unemployed.
Bosses have pledged to work in partnership with schools, colleges, training providers and local authorities to help develop education programmes and ensure Suffolk has the skills required to support the construction of a new nuclear power station. This would include a focus on apprenticeships in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.
Angela Piearce, head of the Sizewell C project, said they would work to build long term sustainable skills for future generations.
“Many of the skills required during construction would be transferrable, opening up the opportunity for further employment once Sizewell C has been built,” she said.
She also said they had been working closely with Suffolk and Norfolk chambers of commerce to provide opportunities for local businesses to supply their goods and services - with 80% of these related to “non nuclear” activities.
To register an interest in becoming a supplier or for more details visit www.sizewellsupplychain.co.uk.
The weighty documents outline how the company plans to progress the multi-billion pound Sizewell C project.
For the first time communities across Suffolk can see how they might be affected by the development which is expected to take between seven and nine years to build.
Today also sees the start of a lengthy consultation period so that people can have their say on the plans, which cover everything from road and rail alterations through to worker accommodation and environmental impacts.
The proposed 32 hectare site - immediately to the north of the existing Sizewell B - would feature two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) along with associated buildings, cooling water infrastructure and interim storage for nuclear waste and spent fuel.
There would also be a National Grid substation, sea protection, training centre and visitor centre.
New internal roads and car parking would be built, along with an access road to adjoin the B1122.
Although EDF is hoping to bring in most materials by sea a number of road and rail improvements have been suggested.
However it does not include a bypass around the A12 villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham. Instead bosses either want to build a bypass at Farnham, widen the road around the narrow “Farnham bend” or introduce HGV traffic controls. Further along the A12 there would be improvements to the B1122 junction at Yoxford.
To improve rail capacity EDF is suggesting introducing a passing loop at Wickham Market and either developing a new terminal north of King George’s Avenue in Leiston or extending the track into the construction area.
EDF is still expecting between 100 to 300 HGV deliveries a day at the peak of construction and in a bid to control traffic flow it is proposing to open a lorry park at one of three locations on the A14 to the south east of Ipswich.
Three alternative sites have also been proposed on which to build temporary accommodation and recreational facilities for between 2,000-3,000 workers. EDF’s preferred option is on the construction site, while others are earmarked for the Sizewell Gap south of Sandy Lane or to the south of Sizewell Sports and Social Club.
Workers living off site will be encouraged to use temporary park and ride facilities - one to the north at either Yoxford Road, Darsham or the A12/A144 junction and one to the south at either Wickham Market, Woodbridge or Potash Corner.
The proposals also outline EDF’s landscaping strategy to minimise the impact of construction on the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Angela Piearce, head of the Sizewell C project, said: “The key message is that noting is set in stone. We want to hear from as many people as possible to help us shape our plans.
“We are committed to listening. There is still some way to go. At Hinkley [which is ahead of Sizewell in the planning process] we were consulting the community for two years.”
Details have already been released regarding dates and venues for 12 community engagement exhibitions and people have until February 6 next year to comment on the proposals.
EDF will then consider the responses and publish its preferred options ahead of a second round of public consultation. A planning application will then be submitted, followed by a planning inspectorate examination and a final decision by the Secretary of State.
Copies of all consultation documents are available at the Sizewell C information office at 48-50 High Street in Leiston between 9.30am-5pm Monday to Friday and 9am-12pm Saturday, as well as various council offices.
To respond to the consultation visit http:\\sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info, email comments to email@example.com, write to Sizewell Nuclear New Build, FREEPOST LON20574, London, W1E3EZ or call 0800 1976102.
N What do you think of the proposals? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The East Anglian Daily Times, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP41AN.