Taken from EADT , Original story here
PUBLISHED: 14:57 02 June 2020 -  Richard Cornwell

Campaigners seeking a second judicial review in their bid to stop the go-ahead to fell a century-old Suffolk woodland will be back in the High Court tomorrow.

Substantial felling of Coronation Wood would take place to create space for new buildings at Sizewell B 
But the group’s first bid for a judicial review was thrown out by the High Court. Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3, that decision will be reviewed by different judges – in a virtual court hearing held over Skype.

Lawyers Leigh Day, acting on behalf of TASC, submitted their legal arguments last week and these will be debated in court at 10.30am. 

Opponents claim the felling of the wood – planted in 1910 to mark the coronation of George V – is premature as the Sizewell C power station plans have not been approved by Government yet.

EDF – which submitted its plans for the £16billion power project last week – wants to create a new visitor centre which would also involve resiting large parking areas and moving other buildings as part of changes at Sizewell B and preparations for Sizewell C.

It says the work needs to be carried out to prevent delays to the construction of Sizewell C.

TASC though says the10-acre wood between Leiston and Sizewell is a wildlife haven for badgers, bats and many native and migratory birds – as well as a visual and noise barrier – and have pledged to “fight every inch of the way” to prevent it being lost.

Joan Girling, TASC secretary, has said: “The cards may be stacked in favour of the government but we will continue to make our case that the proposed felling of Coronation Wood is premature, unnecessary, and inappropriate, causing the loss of woodland and acidic grassland in an AONB and devastating the fragile wildlife and ecosystems particularly when it is not clear if or when SZC will achieve planning consent.”

Pete Wilkinson, TASC chairman, said: “The lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment, the importance of Coronation Wood and the premature nature of the EDF application could see the loss of a much loved wood for a project which may not see the light of day.

“There is still everything to play for. We will not stop fighting for our coast, our wildlife, our environment and the area of outstanding natural beauty which nourishes and sustains the community of East Suffolk.”


From LE JOURNAL DE L’ENERGIE    Machine Translation from French
 
June 2, 2020 at 10:39 am by Martin Leers
INVESTIGATION. A new malfunction could weaken the EPR nuclear reactors a little more, already discredited by delays, poor workmanship and additional costs in series.
The failure of a pressurizer safety valve, critical equipment for nuclear reactor safety, occurred during a test on the EPR reactor in Finland last March. Problem: the defective part is also present in the EPR under construction in Flamanville (France) and in the two EPRs already put into service in Taishan (China). Could this new glitch cause another delay in the Norman EPR, who is already more than ten years behind schedule and an additional cost of 9 billion euros? The Finnish nuclear safety authority (STUK) has just informed the various nuclear safety authorities in charge of EPRs around the world of the anomaly.
It was in the EPR nuclear reactor in Olkiluoto, Finland, during a test, that a leak occurred on a safety valve, equipment that protects the primary circuit, in which the nuclear fuel is immersed and where very high pressure water circulates to cool it. This test took place in the absence of nuclear fuel in the reactor.
The first EPR reactor to be built in the world, the Finnish EPR is still not operational and is eleven years behind and at an additional cost of more than 6 billion euros.

What is the purpose of the faulty safety valve?
Like the pressure cooker valve which allows the pressure to be released to prevent the pressure cooker from exploding, the safety valves of the nuclear reactor pressurizer allow the steam to be released in the event that the pressure becomes too high in the primary circuit.
In the EPR there are three safety valves at the top of the pressurizer, responsible for regulating the pressure and temperature of the primary circuit. Uncontrolled overpressure could lead to rupture of the tank, a major accident.

27 May 2020

PRESS RELEASE 

EDF DCO SUBMISSION IS CONDEMNED BY TOGETHER AGAINST SIZEWELL C  AS ‘AT THE WRONG TIME, FOR A DEVELOPMENT IN THE WRONG PLACE AND FOR AN UNNECESSARY POWER PLANT’

TASC today condemned EdF’s development consent order submission (DCO) as it has been submitted at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is still restricting the movement of people which will significantly hamper the public’s ability to scrutinise the plans in the sort of detail required. It also pointed out that the development is planned for a place which could hardly be more inappropriate, being on an eroding coast which has recently been the subject of an expert review by Nick Scarr, a member of the Nuclear Consulting Group and MD of the Seismic and Oceanographic Engineering Consultancy. In his latest report, Nick argues that the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency’s support of the site through the use of mitigative measures and an ‘adaptive approach’ offersa licence to build a nuclear power station where the location and environment fails to offer the criteria necessary for long term safety of the project.’

TASC has today sent a letter to all Suffolk County councillors appealing to them to recognise that the Sizewell C project is a threat to the county rather than a benefit and that by ‘allowing a French and Chinese-funded mega-development…(it) will irreparably alter that unique Suffolk character and nature of this tranquil and welcoming county, transforming it into just another over-developed, car-dominated, road-centred, urbanised area of the UK like so many others – bland, conformist and uniform.’

Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s Chairman, said today, ‘EdF has treated the people of East Suffolk in the most casual and disrespectful way over the years. The consultations were so bad and lacking the sort of information required for people to make a sensible assessment of the impact that EdF was required to add a further onsultation. That did nothing to enlighten people, and EdF have now disregarded all the criticism, all the arguments against the development – including incontrovertible evidence that we do not need Sizewell C to keep the lights on – and given two fingers to all the efforts made by people to ask EdF to think again.

‘It is now up to the statutory consultees – including our own Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council – to do their duty and defend the county and its environment, its peaceful country villages, its tranquility and way of life which supports a thriving tourist industry, from the ravages of a fate which is being endured by those in the southwest living with the daily nightmare of Hinkley Point C.’

‘We urge people to register as ‘interested parties’ with the Planning Inspectorate and go to speak up for Suffolk and send EdF packing.’

Nick Scarr’s report can be found   here

Today EDF announced that they have submitted the Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) application to build twin EPR nuclear reactors on the fragile Suffolk coast, to the national Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The application flies in the face of the request from 54 town and parish councils, numerous organisations and individuals calling for EDF to defer this application until the restrictions placed on us all due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted. TASC have been, and remain, concerned that EDF will use the prohibition on meetings, the need for social distancing and the necessity for many to self-isolate as shielded individuals, to their advantage as these will limit the public's ability to fully engage in the DCO process. TASC Chair, Pete Wilkinson, has today written to all Suffolk County Councillors calling on them to let their hearts rule their heads and reject this damaging project.

Now the DCO  has been submitted, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council both have 14 days to advise PINS whether they consider EDF to have carried out the consultation process adequately. TASC and many others have advised PINS, and the councils, about the woeful inadequacies of EDF's consultation process- for those who have yet to voice their consultation concerns there is still time to email PINS and the councils, for details see https://tasizewellc.org.uk/index.php/submissions-and-reports/318-edf-s-dco-pre-application-for-sizewell-c. PINS then have a further 14 days, ie 28 days from now, to say, based on the strength of the consultation and the content of the DCO documentation, whether the application is accepted. If the DCO application is accepted, then 29 days from now the Pre Examination phase is due to start. It is at this stage the public and organisations are invited to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on the application, made in writing. EDF have graciously said that they may allow 12 weeks for this period, which is not the concession they would like you to think it is, as, according to PINS, the Pre Examination phase normally lasts 3 months anyway! 

More information about the DCO planning process can be found on the PINS website at:-

For those who may wish to appraise themselves with many of the issues involved, we have provided below links to the 3rd Stage Consultation responses from TASC, the Environment Agency, RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust as well as to the Secretary of State's 2014 and 2019 Sizewell C scoping opinions :-

https://tasizewellc.org.uk/index.php/the-planning-process/stage-3-consultation-responses/258-tasc-response-to-edfe-stage-3-consultation-for-sizewell-c

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sizewell-c-response-to-edf-szc-co-stages-3-and-4-consultations

 
 
 

The original EADT article is here

Final plans for Sizewell C nuclear power plant could be submitted this week

PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 May 2020 

How Sizewell C - so long in the planning - could look Picture: EDF ENERGY
EDF Energy could be set this week to submit its final plans for a new £14billion nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast to the Government – despite widespread anger over the timing of the application.
Community leaders across east Suffolk, along with many influential organisations and a host of celebrities have demanded that the power giant puts its plans for the new Sizewell C twin reactor on hold until after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted.

They fear that current bans on public meetings and people getting together even in small groups, plus the continued closure of libraries, will prevent many from seeing the full plans, debating them and giving their views.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has written to Government ministers urging them to reject the planning application, known as the Development Consent Order, until after the Covid-19 crisis.

News that the application is about to be made has left them deeply disappointed and saying it is the most inappropriate time to do so.

According to The Sunday Times, EDF is to make its DCO submission on Wednesday.

The company had originally intended to submit the application to the Planning Inspectorate by the end of March.

Because of the panedemic it delayed the DCO but said this would only be for “a few weeks” and indicated that it still intended to submit the order before the end of lockdown and was talking to the inspectorate about extending the timeframe for people to comment.

The company said: “To that end we are discussing the following proposals with the Planning Inspectorate: extending the period for relevant representations during the pre-examination phase, introducing measures to make sure everybody is aware of the application when it is submitted, agreeing with the Planning Inspectorate that the examination process itself will not start until they are happy that no parties are disadvantaged.”

It says once submitted it will be at least 28 days before anything further happens while the Planning Inspectorate staff go through the huge number of documents to ensure the DCO can be accepted and registered. If submitted on Wednesday, this would mean it would be June 25 at the earliest when details of the final plans would be revealed and people could begin to read the documents.

Alison Downes, of Stop Sizewell C, said: “EDF could hardly have chosen a more inappropriate time to submit its Sizewell C application, with continuing coronavirus restrictions that threaten to disadvantage us all and controversy raging about China’s involvement.

“And even EDF must be painfully aware of the irony of applying for permission to build two new reactors whilst it is being paid to partly turn off one it already has.”

Sizewell B currently has one of its turbines powered down – halving its output – as part of a deal with the National Grid to reduce the amount of electricity generated because there has been a 20% drop in energy use caused by Covid-19. While domestic use has obviously increased with people confined to home, the amount of power used by industry has dropped dramatically.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator, which contols supply and demand, has offered fixed-term contracts with power generators to “compensate” the industry for agreeing to reduce their output.

In a letter to local councils, Dr Poulter said EDF’s Sizewell C consultation was “unacceptable” and he did not believe this was a good time to progress the project.

He said: “Something of this magnitude needs proper consideration and scrutiny. I have therefore written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to request that the consent order for the next phase of the Sizewell project should not be considered during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A group of 56 town and parish councils have also spoken out against the submission of the DCO during lockdown as part of a campaign coordinated by the Anglian Energy Planning Alliance and Stop Sizewell C.

Tim Beach, of Snape Parish Council, said: “We still maintain that EDF would be wrong to submit its Sizewell C application at the moment. We are disappointed and surprised by Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council saying they are ‘supportive’ of EDF doing so, when many communities are working flat out to support the local government response to the pandemic. The caution the Prime Minister used in his public address tells us that our communities will be facing restrictions for many many months to come.”

Stephen Brett, chair of Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council. said: “There is a real sense of solidarity among towns and parishes in east Suffolk, and a shared determination to defend the principle that everyone must be able to fully engage in scrutinising the Sizewell C application when it comes. The county and district councils must stand firm and we hope this overwhelming support strengthens their ability to do so.”

An EDF Energy spokeswoman said: “We anticipate submitting the planning application for Sizewell C soon following a pause due to the coronavirus.

“We will confirm as soon as the planning application is submitted.

“It is important to note that public engagement in the process will not begin until the planning inspectorate accepts the application which takes around a month.

“Sizewell C will deliver a major boost in skills, training, jobs and business contracts to Suffolk and across the UK and will be vital for reaching our Net Zero carbon emissions target.”