Hundreds protest proposed UK nuclear plant


Hundreds took to the streets in Suffolk, UK on Sunday to protest the UK government’s plan to allow EDF to build two massive EPR reactors — known as Sizewell C — at the Sizewell nuclear site. The coastal reactors would be situated literally on a beach and next to a precious nature preserve.

The two mile protest march, jointly organized by Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C, was timed to occur ahead of a May 25 government planning decision that would fully green light the project. However, just days before the march, Sizewell C opponents won a small reprieve when the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy postponed the planning decision to July 8. 

The Sizewell C project would interfere with wildlife and habitat, involve a massive influx of heavy transport, equipment and workers, and, if built, would be vulnerable to coastal erosion and sea-level rise, among many challenges. The entire coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the shingle beach, already blighted by the existing Sizewell reactors, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Costs to ratepayers are also a concern, as, to fund the plan, the UK government is proposing a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) plan, a similar pay-in-advance scheme to Construction Work In Progress, found in some US states. RAB would require all UK electricity customers to pay up front towards the financing costs of the construction of Sizewell C.

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the UK Green Party,  was one of the speakers at Sunday’s rally. He warned that, “Building a nuclear power station with the kind of subsidy the Government is talking about will lock in raised electricity prices for years to come.

“Renewably generated electricity is now far, far cheaper and will deliver far more sustainable jobs for Suffolk people and its independent businesses than this expensive white elephant.”

(Headline photo Gregg Brown/Stop Sizewell C)

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