A great many residents have written to me, setting out their concerns about Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station. I share many of those concerns about the current proposals.
In the absence of an adequate alternative, and until we can find better ways of storing the electricity produced by renewable sources such as offshore wind and solar energy, nuclear power will remain an important form of electricity production in the UK. Nuclear has the additional advantage of further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. It is also the case that the construction of Sizewell C will bring job opportunities to Suffolk at a time (post COVID-19) that may be challenging economically.
However, as things stand, I have serious reservations about the proposals for Sizewell C. In particular, I am concerned that the damage that will be wrought on one of the most beautiful stretches of Suffolk's coastline and the potential impact that this will have upon species and habitats is not sufficiently mitigated by the current construction plans.
I am also concerned that EDF have done little to mitigate against the impact that the volume of construction traffic will have upon East Suffolk's communities. Construction of Sizewell C will take many years. The move away from sea delivery of materials to land based delivery of building materials has not been adequately considered. Insufficient thought has been given to the need for substantial road and rail improvements to support this change in the construction plan. In this respect, I am also concerned that in developing its proposals, EDF has failed to engage adequately with Suffolk's parishes and communities.
Finally, I have concerns about the potential security implications of Chinese involvement in such a major energy project, for which I have not to date, received adequate reassurances.
For these reasons, and having considered the matter carefully, at this time, on balance, I am unable to support the current proposals for Sizewell C.