Press Release – 9 November, 2021
The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) refutes the recent statement from BRB in relation to COP26, which claims that Bradwell B would be Essex’s ‘biggest contribution to climate action’and that the project is ‘ideally placed’ to play a ‘major part’ in achieving Net Zero.
Two things are emerging from COP26. The first is that it is unlikely that global temperatures can be held from rising to 20C. This means that the low-lying Bradwell site would become vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges and other coastal processes by the end of this century. ‘Rather than contributing to Net Zero, Bradwell B would be ‘ideally placed’ to become the casualty of Climate Change’, said Varrie Blowers, Secretary of BANNG.
The other point emerging from COP26 is that Bradwell B, even if it gets past the many regulatory, financial and planning hurdles it faces, would not begin operating until the middle of the next decade, far too late to make an appreciable contribution to Net Zero by 2050.
It would also arrive at a time when far cheaper and greener alternatives would be emerging, giving greater flexibility and resilience to energy supply. Far from making a contribution, Bradwell B would have a negative impact on Net Zero by soaking up resources that would be better deployed elsewhere rather than on an outmoded and unnecessary technology inflicting costs and risks on future generations.
A major theme of COP26 is the protection of biodiversity. There is little doubt that Bradwell B would harm habitats, wildlife and the Marine Conservation Zone of the Blackwater estuary, teeming with fish and the famous Colchester Native Oysters.
It may be remembered that at the end of 2020, BRB appealed against the decision – taken twice by Maldon District Council – to refuse it Planning Permission for further land investigations at Bradwell. BRB’s Appeal has been successful and the Planning Inspectorate has now issued its report. While it is disappointing that the investigations will now go ahead, the Inspectorate has gone to lengths to ensure that the ecology and wildlife of the Dengie will be protected from the proposed works.
But we are only talking here about land investigations, not the construction and operation of a proposed, gigantic nuclear power station. It is virtually impossible to imagine how mitigating measures to protect the habitats and biodiversity of the Dengie Peninsula and the Blackwater estuary could be achieved against such immense intrusions.
The reality is that the construction of Bradwell B would make Essex a national sacrifice area. The communities around the Blackwater estuary and on the Dengie Peninsula would be condemned to live with a polluting and potentially dangerous monstrosity in their midst until towards the end of this century. And then with the on-site storage of highly dangerous radioactive wastes until at least the end of the next.
And all for a project that, contrary to the claims of BRB, would be too late, too costly and too inflexible to make a positive contribution to Net Zero by 2050.