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2022 saw the slow demise of the Bradwell B nuclear plan

That was the Year That Was…

Andy Blowers summarises the past year for the Bradwell B project in the BANNG column for the January 2023 edition of Regional Life

A year is a short time in the glacial progress of a nuclear power station as it slowly moves through the various hurdles until it falls or proceeds eventually to the point where it goes critical and its long-term legacy becomes eternal and irreversible. So, with Bradwell B’s faltering progress over the past seven years until its fall last year. It may seem, in the words of Charles II, that it has been ‘an unconscionable time a-dying’, but the year just ended has witnessed the slow demise of Bradwell B.

Bradwell B entered 2022 with diminishing prospects. From the moment in early 2020 when it disclosed its preposterous plans to an outraged public, it had struggled for credibility. It’s true that in 2021 the Chinese-designed reactors gained Generic Design Approval (GDA) from the UK regulatory authorities. But, also in 2021, CGN (China General Nuclear Power Group) announced it was pausing its activities indefinitely. No doubt this was, in part, a result of the overwhelming and sustained opposition from BANNG, BAN, local councils and communities that it had encountered over the years.

During 2022 any lingering hopes for the project appeared to vanish amid deepening fears about Sea Level Rise and destructive impacts on our vulnerable coast. And it became clear that Chinese participation in UK nuclear projects was unwelcome for reasons of national security. By the year’s end, CGN informed stakeholders that it was effectively decommitting from its activities on the site with no plans for resumption.

It’s over. Let it go…

So, Bradwell B is over and we can let it go. But the threat of new nuclear at Bradwell will remain as long as the Government categorises the site as ‘potentially suitable’. Other developers may try to muscle in and we know that Rolls Royce has made a ranging shot at Bradwell as a ‘deployable site’ for its non-existent Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). It must be finally and unequivocally demonstrated that the Bradwell site is utterly unsuitable for the deployment of nuclear development, whether big Gigawatts (GW) or big SMRs That has been the nub of BANNG’s campaign over many years and it remains so as we enter 2023.


January 24, 2023 - Posted by | politics, UK

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