New nuclear plant for Sizewell?

SIZEWELL on the Suffolk coast is one of four sites at the top of the list for a new nuclear power station if the government gives the go-ahead for an expansion of the industry next year.

SIZEWELL on the Suffolk coast is one of four sites at the top of the list for a new nuclear power station if the government gives the go-ahead for an expansion of the industry next year.

Four sites in the south of England have been identified by British Energy, the company that operates Sizewell B, as potential sites for new stations.

The others are Hinkley Point in Somerset, Dungeness in Kent, and Bradwell in Essex.

British Energy has commissioned a report from the Halcrow Group looking at how sites it owns could be used as locations for new nuclear stations.

It recommends that Sizewell could be suitable for another station because the existing coast defences could be used.

However a third station on the site should be set slightly further back from the coastline itself.

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British Energy chief executive Bill Coley said: “Our existing sites all have potential for replacement nuclear and indeed we have suitable land at all locations.

“But it's about much more than land. We are building the foundations for replacement nuclear by continuing and strengthening our excellent relationships and dialogue with local communities.

“Our skilled and experienced staff also live locally and provide a healthy flow of skills and talent into the business.”

A spokesman for the company said British Energy had been in contact with potential business partners to ensure it was able to go ahead with building new nuclear plants if the government gave the go-ahead in the new year.

French government-owned EDF Energy has already said it would like to build new nuclear stations in Britain, probably in partnership with another company.

However objectors warned that building more nuclear plants would be an expensive folly.

Ben Ayliffe, from Greenpeace, said linking the new reactors to the National Grid would cost the taxpayer huge amounts of money - money that would be better spent on renewable energy.

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