Public access to Sizewell meetings

ANTI-nuclear campaigners and other members of the public could be given access to local "liaison" meetings at the Sizewell power station site for the first time.

ANTI-nuclear campaigners and other members of the public could be given access to local "liaison" meetings at the Sizewell power station site for the first time.

The Shut Down Sizewell Campaign has been pressing for some years for more open access arrangements to meetings which involve nuclear company officials, health and safety watchdogs, local councillors and representatives of Sizewell residents.

The nuclear companies, keen to avoid the meetings developing into "slanging matches", have maintained that issues of public interest can be raised through elected representatives.

But the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), set up by the Government to oversee the shutdown of ageing power stations and disposal of radioactive waste, is keen to involve the public and anti-nuclear groups in discussions.

It has already set up regional "stakeholder" forums which include representatives from anti-nuclear groups and has arranged a series of public meetings.

Now pressure from the NDA is likely to change the format for local liaison meetings.

Most Read

The Bradwell nuclear power station local liaison committee elected a non-nuclear company chairman for the first time two weeks ago.

Each nuclear site liaison committee will be able to determine its own make-up but the pressure is for more open meetings.

Robin Thornton, spokesman for the British Nuclear Group, which owns Sizewell A and Bradwell, said the NDA had made clear it wanted to "re-design" the local liaison meetings.

"We welcome the change and look forward to working with the new groups," he added.

Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign (SDSC), said the reform of the local liaison committees was long overdue.

"There is no reason why they should not be open to green groups and members of the public," he said.

Mr Barnett said the group also intended to put further pressure on Suffolk County Council to display full information about nuclear emergency procedures for visitors to the public car park on the Sizewell seafront.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter