Have your say on Sizewell C
Stage 2 of the Sizewell C consultation began on the 23 November 2016 and is open to comment until the 3 February 2017. The EDF Development team held a series of public consultation events across the region and included a full suite of publicly available documentation on their website – www.sizewellc.co.uk
Development in Brief
The potential role for nuclear power in the UK was established in the 2008 Energy White Paper on Nuclear Power: Meeting the Energy Challenge. Although the concept of a third nuclear plant in the Sizewell area was introduced during the planning process for Sizewell B the planning process for the proposed plant began in 2008 under the legal framework introduced by the Planning Act 2008. The 2008 Act introduced a revised approach for determining applications for major developments such as this with decisions being made in the context of a National Policy Statement (NPS). The relevant NPS for nuclear power stations are NPS-EN1 which sets out the policies for generic energy plants and NPS-EN6 which provides the policy framework specifically for nuclear power stations.
The Suffolk Coastal District Council in its local development plan identified Sizewell, which is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Heritage Coast, as being potentially suitable for developing a third nuclear power station.
In brief, the proposals for Sizewell C include two nuclear reactors which are understood to have the capacity to supply in the region of six million homes. The design proposals have developed since, and in response to, the Stage 1 Public Consultation (November 2012 to February 2013). It is intended that the proposed power station will be operational for 60 years with anticipated maintenance programmes taking place every 18 months. Since the power station will be operating for 24 hours a day there will be a need for 24 hour access to the plant. Details on the actual technology are presented in the full consultation document, available on the Sizewell C website, along with the design principles and design brief.
Proposals include, amongst other things, options for addressing transport for both construction traffic and workers. The development team is exploring how to reduce the impact on the road infrastructure by designing solutions for deliveries via rail and sea. As well as transport the updated design considers issues such as cooling water infrastructure, sea defences and noise & air quality. In a bid to reduce impacts during construction, the development proposals prior to the submission of the application for the Development Consent Order; the timing of this is understood to be dependent on the responses to the Stage 2 Consultation.
To have your say and make your views known, visit http://www.sizewellc.co.uk and remember the deadline is 3 February 2017.
Jane Haviland Webster is a trainee solicitor at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.