Varrie Blowers looks forward to what 2020 may hold for new nuclear and reviews BANNG’s activities through 2019 column in the February 2020 edition of Regional Life.
It may appear that all has been quiet on the eastern front in the recent past but Chinese developer, CGN, seems intent on carrying out its plans to build Bradwell B and is continuing with its site investigations.
This year will be important in terms of whether plans for massive, new nuclear power plants move forward. We anticipate there will be a big push by the new Government and the nuclear industry for new nuclear development. The Government is considering new funding models which would involve taxpayers taking on some of the investment.
Hinkley Point C, where construction has started, still struggles with financial problems. Later this year, EDF intends to apply for Development Consent for Sizewell C. As for Bradwell B, the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) will be at its peak and the project will be slowly approaching its pre-application stage.
So, what has BANNG been doing in 2019?
We continued to attempt to raise public awareness of Bradwell B through monthly articles in Regional Life and other media outlets. Among issues we covered were security and safety, the potential impact of Bradwell B on marine life, the potential impacts of a major nuclear accident at Bradwell B, such as that at Chernobyl. We have also argued for renewable energy and letting ‘the sun take the strain’, so to speak.
At every opportunity we have continued to highlight the major threats that climate change poses to coastal areas of the world, including Bradwell B where proposals for new nuclear reactors and the long-term storage of highly radioactive wastes on such a site are simply not credible.
BANNG representatives, with Councillors from Colchester Borough Council, engaged with the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation. We also met with CGN. Importantly, we raised the myriad problems that we believe Bradwell B will pose for the communities and environment of the Blackwater estuary.
Representatives continued to discuss issues with the government at meetings of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy/NGO Nuclear Forum, of which the BANNG Chair is co-Chair. We also engaged with government through time-consuming responses to consultations.
And we do not forget Bradwell A, now a nuclear waste facility. BANNG representatives attended meetings of the Local Community Liaison Council to be kept up-to-date and to raise matters we believe continue to be of concern to local communities.