home Nuclear Attitude, Pending Reactors, U 30% of UK’s energy could come from Suffolk, Sizewell C conference told

30% of UK’s energy could come from Suffolk, Sizewell C conference told

Key figures involved in the Sizewell C nuclear power station project have told a conference that work could start next year if it gets planning permission – and argued the benefits will outweigh the impact.

The ‘Sizewell C: Doing the Power of Good for East Suffolk’ conference focused on the impact of the potential power station on the local environment, economy and communities if the twin reactor station is built.

The government has previously announced plans to fund a new nuclear power plant before the 2024 election and Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director of nuclear development at Sizewell C, is certain Sizewell C is the frontrunner.

Sizewell C: Doing the Power of Good for East Suffolk conference

Sizewell C: Doing the Power of Good for East Suffolk conference – Credit: Archant

Sizewell is that project,” Mr Cadoux-Hudson told a conference of several hundred people at Trinity Park on Monday. “There’s no other that can come close in this government.”

He emphasised the importance of no longer relying on fossils fuels and how nuclear is the best solution due to its small footprint, the fact it is not limited by battery storage technology like wind and solar power and said it produces less carbon than wind and solar power.

He added: “The time to build it is now, and I think the country needs and the local area needs the impact that we’ll have both in terms of our electricity system, jobs, skills and businesses.”

If planning permission is given in April, the nine to 12 year construction process could start before the end of the year.


Councillor Steve Gallant shares how East Suffolk Council is helping businesses and individuals

Leader of East Suffolk Council cllr Steve Gallant – Credit: East Suffolk Council

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant believes the council’s job is not to take a side on Sizewell C. He said: “If Sizewell C is permitted, and lets face it I think Humphrey alluded to it – it probably will be, then what we want to do is to make sure that the maximum benefit from the minimum harm is caused to the residents, communities and businesses.”

The five aims the council focused on were: growing our economy, enabling our community, remaining financially sustainable, delivering digital transformation and caring for our environment.

“We need to make sure we don’t damage what is already there,” said Cllr Gallant.

He acknowledged that there are always going to be people who don’t want it, but urged them to look at bigger picture.

He added: “Of course not everybody is going to benefit, but the reality is on the whole, I believe it will be a positive thing.”

Campaigners have voiced fears about the environmental impact, and the potential damage to Suffolk’s tourism industry.

Julia Pyke, Sizewell C director, spoke about how their contribution to the climate crisis will be matched by their efforts in helping biodiversity, their commitment to hydrogen and making Leiston the first carbon neutral town.

Sizewell C will look to provide hydrogen-powered buses to provide transport for workers to kickstart the local hydrogen economy.

They hope by providing the ability to use hydrogen more easily, other business will also take up hydrogen powered vehicles.

With regards to the more direct environmental impacts from the potential power plant she said the land around Sizewell A and B has been managed “with extreme care”.

A net gain in biodiversity of 19% is also believed to be achievable, thanks in part to 250ha of land being set out for wildlife, claims Sizewell C.

Peter Aldous (Conservative MP for Waveney). Picture: House of Commons

Peter Aldous, Waveney MP – Credit: House of Commons

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said at the conference: “The road to net zero is going to bring dramatic change to Suffolk, properly managed, it can also bring enormous benefits.”

He believes Suffolk has been a support actor up until now but will become “the lead actor”.

“With 50% of the country’s offshore wind fleets anchored of the East Anglian coast and with Sizewell C, 30% of the UK’s electricity will come through East Suffolk,” He added.

“Subject to planning, it is about to happen.”

Mr Aldous continued: “Sizewell C can play a key role in revitalising the local economy and I personally do very much focus on the opportunities it provides for the people and businesses in Lowestoft and Waveney.

“There may well be occasions when we have to hold these guys’ feet to the fire, but what we have in front of us is a unique prospect to build back better.”

Source: East Anglian Daily Times