Bradwell B plans more horrendous than feared. But it is NOT a done deal!
Plans for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell have been released. The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), which has campaigned against the project for the last eleven years, has expressed its concern at the scale, devastation, pollution and danger presented in the Chinese developer’s glossy presentation brochure.
Commenting on the proposals, Prof. Andy Blowers, Chair of BANNG, said: ‘The plans are even more horrendous than we feared. The scale is enormous, the power station if built will cover an area around 230 times Trafalgar Square. Foundations for the power station will extend down to 60 feet below the ground and the two reactors and turbines will be constructed on a ‘nuclear island’ 25 feet above sea-level. Directly opposite Mersea Island will be cooling towers 200 feet high (higher than the remaining buildings of Bradwell A) and 500 feet wide. A building close to Bradwell Village in which the highly radioactive spent fuel will be stored for upwards of 150 years is also included’.
Two jetties will project into the Blackwater: a temporary jetty during construction, just under 2,000 feet long and a permanent jetty extending 66 feet to 231 feet beyond high water springs, for boats carrying the huge components for the power station (up to 4 boatloads a day during the long construction phase).
This massive and menacing radioactive complex will be within 2 miles of West Mersea (population around 7,000 permanent residents) utterly transforming a beautiful and peaceful waterland into a dangerous, industrial wasteland. It may literally bring about the industrialisation of the Dengie, destroying the lives of many residents with plans for heavy transport on the narrow roads between villages, accommodation for both a permanent and a transient workforce and disrupting the rural, tranquil and fabulously rich ecology of this remote area.
It is estimated by the developer that 10,000 workers will be on site at the peak of construction, 3,000 of whom it is hoped will be local. That leaves 7,000 requiring accommodation and much of that will be provided very close to Bradwell Village. It is not known where so many workers will come from but it is conceded that they will not all by any means come from the UK.
Intake and outfall pipelines will suck in water from the shallow estuary and discharge toxic effluent into the Marine Conservation Zone, imperilling its precious stores of oysters, fish and other life.
Damage to the diverse and important habitats within the many designated areas on the Dengie Peninsula and the surrounding waters of the Marine Conservation Zone seems inevitable and mitigation almost impossible. Apart from the Colchester Native Oyster, there are many wetland birds, including around 7% of the world’s overwintering Brent Geese, breeding birds, mammals, reptiles as well as rare/uncommon plants and nationally important invertebrate species that rely on these habitats.
‘And all for a nuclear station that will be surplus to requirements by the time it starts operating in the late 2030s,’ said Andy Blowers.
Before that, local communities will have to endure 9 – 12 years of disruption, noise, light pollution, disturbance and movement of heavy traffic while the gigantic project is being built.
All this on a site which is threatened by the impacts of the climate emergency, which gets more serious with each passing day.
‘The whole proposal is so outrageous that it should be inconceivable that it would get permission to go ahead’, commented Peter Banks, BANNG’s Co-ordinator. ‘But, just to make sure, people need to make the strongest possible protest against these plans now, before it is too late. Apathy is not an option! Contrary to the impression the developer wishes to convey, Bradwell B is not a done deal’.
Details of the current consultation are on the Bradwell B website
Professor Andy Blowers, OBE, Chair of BANNG: 07930.800253
Varrie Blowers, Secretary & Press Officer of BANNG: 07932.644482