Five weeks after now retired UK EDF chief Vincent de Rivas declared that Sizewell C was "likely to start in 2031" (EADT 31.10.17) Sizewell C project chief Jim Crawford headed a team at a Stage 2 report-back meeting at Stratford St Andrew on 16th November. Rivaz said Hinkley Point C reactor - just dong ground works - was likely to produce electricity in 2005, and that the ten year Sizewell C reactor(s?) could start being built in 2021 subject to A12 rad improvements. For this, see next story below....
The reprt back meeting was low key, lack-lustre and despite claims of consultation support the controversial Eastbridge workers' campus and one of three options for a permanent jetty into the sea (SAGE says this is a harbour), a closer reading maybe gives a different picture. Admitting traffic is the biggest problem, the EDF team said they would refine the Park&Ride at Wickham Market, and look further at issues on the 8 areas where they gave options un the consultation questionaire.
It was admitted that the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) was a big issue too. Questions about the size of the land-take, level crossing problems if rail was re-opened and other issues were diplomatically distanced by the EDF Project Planner saying that Stage 2 was "just a flavour" and "we're on a journey". If its starting in 2021 - as Rivas sad - it will be a very dramatic journey !
On the deeper issues, Crawford said there was still a business case to be done, and an "appraisal of "sustainability", something it looks like being required to do by law, on a much wider agenda of issues under proposed new nuclear sites Regulations (see above). He also claimed that Sizewell was the "next affordable" nuclear project in the UK. despite headlines about Wylfa, a new plan for Sellafiled (Moorside) and China's CGN company project at Bradwell. Deeper issues are important but remain to be tested: was the Stage 2 full Report and its many proposals -including a mini consultation on compensation - what was being consulted about, or was it just the eight themed areas with their often misleading options ? Many organised groups happily ignored the loaded questionaire, but their responses were not reported to us. SAGE - and others - have collected these together: they include strong responses on nature, environment, traffic, "suitability", safety. That's just a but of the likely new "sustainability" requirement. Let's hope that's not going to be done in a rush to meet the 2021 deadline !
A low key public c9nsultation in the Autumn 2017 about a dual carriageway "Four Villages" bypass - so called "pinch-point" for the A12 and all of those EDF Sizewell C lorries - has resurfaced, as a Suffolk County Council proposal, costing £100m for four miles. It is a changed proposal, not the EDF original proposal of - going north- a west loop and then an east loop back on to the dual carriageway below Saxmunden. Avoiding important interests, we guess, it now goes all to the east. Asked about funding at a meeting with the Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) coordinating work with the EDF Sizewell C project, councillors explained there were no council funds, EDF would be asked for 40% and the rest would come from a bid to Government. This would require a developed business plan. Weeks later, this business plan was sent in, but had become £150m.
Not the biggest problem though: it's gone into the next funding round for all UK roads, for money in the 2021-5 period. Alongside a Government proposal to create new second class motorways, some in the A12 south of Ipswich, to be called :"expressways", there are bids for 7 new junctions on the A14 between Fexlistowe and Bury, a new super junction at Copdock, And, not far away, a new road to Stansted from Suffolk, a new Essex access to Stansted and a lot more besides. The four villages bit is being called "The Energy Gateway". Realists might conclude that it's the exact opposite, since the real energy future around Lowestoft needs cross-country access, there is no "solution" to the Yoxford junction issue on the designated Sizewell C route up the A12 north and down the B1122 south-east, and, well, EDF at their Stage 2 report back meeting say they are sticking to their mini proposals for the four villages. Also, as may be obvious, the Government has no money for even a fraction of roads projects in any case. EDF are unlikely to change their view: they've just announced a 20% cut in the Sizewell C budget ( see above).
EDF has held an all England and Wales government supply contract, the same for Scotland and also another, more recent, we believe, for the UK universities. The contracts are awarded by competitive tender, last for four years and should be up for bids again in 2020. Just mentioned to show how complicated energy market relationships can be.