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'A dangerously reckless project': Town council slams Sizewell C project

PUBLISHED: 07:30 11 July 2019

An artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like  Picture: EDF ENERGY

An artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like Picture: EDF ENERGY

EDF Energy

An east Suffolk town council has formally opposed the construction of a new power plant in the region.

Eamonn O'Nolan said the project was dangerously reckless Picture: EAMONN O'NOLANEamonn O'Nolan said the project was dangerously reckless Picture: EAMONN O'NOLAN

Woodbridge Town Council made the decision at a full council meeting on Tuesday night and came after EDF announced a fourth consultation on the project last week.

READ MORE: Fourth round of consultation launched for Sizewell C

Among councillor's key concerns about the project were the lack of mitigation options for the town and the additional traffic which would be produced by vehicles accessing the site.

Some also questioned the likelihood of Fukushima-style meltdown in the region as a result of the new site.

After a debate the council carried the motion with eight councillors in favour, three against and one abstention.

Woodbridge mayor, Eamonn O'Nolan, said: "For all the good intentions that may lie behind it, Sizewell C is a dangerously reckless project that must be stopped.

"The fine engineering minds employed on it should be giving their attention to the question of how to make safe the reactor that is already there, not building a new and bigger one alongside it.

"In terms of environmental impact, nothing discussed so far in the consultation process comes close to the reality of a Fukushima scenario.

"Yet that is what we could be facing - the prospect of our region becoming globally known in the same terms as Fukushima or Chernobyl: Effectively uninhabitable.

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"The technology may have improved slightly, but the fundamental fact remains that uncontrolled water and nuclear reactors do not mix safely.

"EDF's planners speak of Sizewell as standing on "a stable part of the Suffolk coast". This is simply not true.

"The people of Suffolk know how 'stable' this coastline really is."

Mr O'Nolan said that it was important that renewable energies were considered to provide the power needed in the area.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: "Sizewell C will provide a massive boost in jobs, training and skills in Suffolk for years to come.

"As we launch stage 4 consultation we urge everyone to engage with us to ensure their views are heard so that we can best manage the impacts during construction and maximise the wide benefits the project will deliver for Suffolk.

"There has never been a radiation release in the history of the EDF Energy sites but the company continues to prepare and rehearse for this extremely unlikely event with a regular programme of exercises to make sure that people at the station and the emergency services are familiar with emergency plans.

"In the UK we also have arrangements in place for the small number of residents living within the detailed emergency planning zone (DEPZ) of each power station. For Sizewell B this is 1km.

"The off-site emergency plan is owned by Suffolk County Council who, working the respective agencies including EDF Energy, identify a detailed planning zone which is immediately around the site and allow for pre-prepared counter measures to be in place such as stable iodine tablets and communications such as an automated telephone system.

"After the events at Fukushima, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) carried out an independent review of UK nuclear power plants.

"This concluded that the "UK nuclear facilities have no fundamental weaknesses".

"These findings were supported by EDF Energy's Japanese Earthquake Response (JER) Programme on completing an internal review and challenge across the entire fleet of nuclear power plants which showed 'there is no challenge to nuclear safety for within design basis events'.

"Lessons learned from the event were incorporated into the design of the EPR, the technology that will be used at HPC and SZC, and we will demonstrate our ability to respond to events as part of the site Licencing arrangements."

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