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Sizewell nuclear power station could become a dangerous nuclear island

No2NuclearPower 16th June 2020, Letter to The Times (unpublished) Rachel Fulcher Suffolk Costal FOE:

The Sizewell C debate is salty indeed (Alistair Osborne, 10/06/20). Anyone taking a brisk walk along the Suffolk coast around Sizewell can see clearly how unstable and dynamic it is. Defensive anti-tank blocks from World War II spill down the collapsed cliffs, and here and there the remains of a
pill box, once aloft, can be seen lying on the shingle. ‘Dragons’ teeth’ have disappeared under the sea and then re-appeared before being finally removed – some by EDF ironically. Signs warn of cliff falls, yet, sadly, a man was killed not long ago walking his dog along the beach.

EDF Energy maintains that the two offshore sand banks will continue to protect the nuclear power stations at Sizewell from storm surges for the projected lifetime of Sizewell C, including the long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste. What madness is this? Local swimmers and sailors know only too well how these shift and change. Once you could swim out and stand on one – no longer possible as it has eroded and flattened.

Equally, as Nick Scarr correctly points out, and as our own in-depth researches demonstrate, the two banks have been moving apart, allowing the larger waves to reach the shore during storms.

The power of the sea should not be under-estimated. At nearby Thorpeness, thought to be stable due to the out-lying coralline crag, houses are now teetering on the edge, despite the revetment hastily put in place. Gabions are already rusting away and the huge sand bags have been tossed about by the waves. EDF Energy says in their consultation documents that their new defences would guard Sizewell C against projected climate change and sea level rise.

Even if that were the case, which cannot be proven, what would be the result of these? For a
start, they would cause ‘coastal squeeze’, preventing natural roll-back and resulting in flanking erosion and flooding. Not only would this put at increased risk villagers living either side of the station, but the RSPB’s flagship reserve of Minsmere immediately to the north and Sizewell
Marshes SSSI at the rear.

Indeed, this would leave a highly unsafe nuclear island. Water in the wrong place at a nuclear power station can have devastating consequences, as the catastrophe at Fukushima demonstrates only
too well. Let’s hope that the Planning Inspectorate puts the precautionary principle in place and turns down this hazardous development.

June 18, 2020 - Posted by | safety, UK

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