A BOOM FOR NUCLEAR EAST SUFFOLK OR AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN?
1. The plan is for EDF, the French “nuclear specialists”, to build two enormous prototype nuclear reactors (Sizewell C & D) alongside the existing nuclear power stations – Sizewell A & B.
2. This type of reactor has not been built, tried or tested before. Hinkley Point is the first guinea pig and Sizewell C would be the second – if it is allowed to go ahead. If it is then it would be disastrous for this area having catastrophic consequences for the environment, wildlife and us.
Consequences of this Sheer Folly
3. The proposed site, is unsuitable, unsafe, unwarranted, incredibly expensive and potentially downright dangerous. It would be absolutely crazy to build this monstrosity in an area of outstanding natural beauty subject to climate change, major erosion, rising seas and a serious risk of flooding. It would decimate Minsmere and the surrounding area.
4. By the time the site was completed (anything from 10-15 years) advances in science and technology would have overtaken and outstripped this site by way of much cheaper, green renewables. It would end up a white elephant, albeit a very dangerous one.
5. The feed in costs would be enormous. EDF would charge the British public a £6 (each) annual premium on energy in order to finance the project. The cost of electricity eventually produced would be 3 times or so dearer than renewables such as offshore wind, solar or other power.
6. Throughout the construction stage there would be massive damage to the environment, pollution, traffic jams and an enormous carbon footprint. Huge amounts of fuel, energy and materials would be expended on an unprecedented scale for this region with nothing in return for years and years. The new fuel rods would be much hotter than those at Sizewell B. The electricity generated would equate to 66 grams of carbon per kilowatt hour compared to 9.5 per 38 grams for renewables.
7. Already bore and pre-construction holes have been excavated to a depth of 100 metres. Two massive pipes each the size of a double decker bus would be constructed sucking in 130,000 litres per second from the sea. There would be carnage and mean the destruction of marine life which would be sucked in, torn to ribbons and spat out back into the ocean. The local eco system would be destroyed.
The Nuclear Threat
8. Some 500 tons of nuclear waste already at the existing sites at Sizewell would remain for hundreds of years. This would probably treble over the coming years. Nuclear waste would be stored underwater for eternity on an unpredictable, eroding and subsiding coast likely to become an island within the next 50 to 100 years.
9. Human error and flawed reactor design was responsible for the disasters at Three Mile Island (1979) and Chernobyl (1986). Fukushima (2001) was caused by a tsunami. With EDF’s lamentable track record over delay, quality control, construction and safety – look at Olkiluoto and Flamanville, Two huge and untried reactors would be a disaster waiting to happen.
It Could Not Happen Here, Could It?
10. Well on 07 January 2007 there was a very close call after a nuclear leak occurred in the laundry room at Sizewell. This was narrowly averted by chance when a contractor saved the day after cooling water leaked onto the floor from the pond holding the reactors’ highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel. 40,000 gallons spilt out – some leaking out into the North Sea.
What about Health and Safety?
11. Being in the lee of nuclear power materially increases risks to health and well being not just to humans but pets, livestock and wildlife. Other sites have caused serious diseases including leukaemia and cancers. No health checks of those living at or near Sizewell have been made, or at least none have been published
12. At the height of the works there would be some 6,000 trucks and other vehicles converging on Sizewell daily. The proposed Link road of about 5 miles would destroy fields, habitat and woodland in its wake. It would require a construction compound for some 300 labourers, accessed by around 175 trucks a day over a construction period of about 2 years, ruining the countryside. There would be a hotel and park and ride facility for workers at Darsham as well as other similar sites nearby.
13. The size and width of the Link Road would be enormous – to accommodate the huge 38-ton trucks required to carry the gigantic and incredibly heavy equipment and materials required for construction. This would entail 3 massive borrow pits being dug some 30 metres deep and covering some 50 acres each, to accommodate the concrete and other construction materials required for the site, in turn, destroying peat bogs and releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.
14. The area would be awash with carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen, ozone and other volatile compounds along with numerous other toxic pollutants as would our villages.
Traffic and Noise
15. This would be horrendous. There would be a huge increase in traffic and noise in the early hours of the morning and late at night to accommodate shift workers. This would be compounded by substantially increased levels of parking as well as the creation of rat runs in the locality as motorists seek to find short cuts to avoid the A1120.
16. This would be decimated by this project which EDF, effectively, acknowledge given the creation of a new nature reserve along the coast. A huge concrete construction road would split into Minsmere destroying life and habitat. Creatures not only need their own habitat but also the connecting space to roam and forage. It is completely unrealistic to suggest that these beautiful and rare creatures would simply and happily be shunted elsewhere. They would starve a slow and long death. During construction there would be noise, dirt, dust and the area would be lit up like a Christmas tree – around the clock.
17. There are a huge amount of creatures likely to be affected including avocets, bitterns, ducks, marsh harriers, red kites as well an enormous variety of invertebrates and bats.
18. In addition the considerable amount of wildlife, trees and vegetation in Coronation Wood and Kenton Hills Wood would be destroyed and lost forever.
19. Yes, there would be additional jobs and business contracts available but much of these would be short term in the construction phase. The prime jobs would either be from Hinkley Point or within EDF’s existing framework. Sizewell A is in the process of decommissioning. Sizewell B is not due to be decommissioned till 2035. During this period and beyond there would be ample additional jobs created by renewables. With the demise of Minsmere there would be a huge loss of jobs and income as well as an enormous impact on tourism and local businesses.
20. Is this potential travesty the legacy that we wish to leave for our children, their children and their children’s children for eternity? They will never forgive us unless we do something and do it now.
What Can We Do to Prevent this Disaster from Happening? It is not too late – we can still stop this.
(A) Please watch Patrick Benquet’s film The French Nuclear Trap when available or Google Trailer. [We have a copy from YouTube to play from memory stick if you wish to borrow it]
(B) Please register to oppose the pending DCO application for planning permission by EDF and strongly oppose for all our sakes.
Greener Peasenhall & Sibton
This is a 2 page leaflet, cut down from a 7 page version prepared by RE – let us know if you want to have the full copy.