Background – how did we get to eight nuclear sites?
In January 2008 the UK Government published a Nuclear White Paper called Meeting the Energy Challenge which said that new nuclear stations should have a role in the country’s future energy mix. After a Strategic Siting Assessment process which began in July 2008, the Government gave the nuclear industry two months until the end of March 2009 to nominate sites for new reactors.
Professor Andy Blowers said the siting criteria amounted to nothing less than a means of trying to justify putting a new generation of mega power stations and spent fuel waste stores on existing coastal sites most of which are likely to become submerged during the next century under the impact of sea level rise and storm surges. His paper, published in the TCPA’s distinguished monthly Journal, Town & Country Planning, is reproduced with kind permission.
The list of nominated sites was published on 15 April 2009. These were:-
- Hartlepool nominated by EDF Energy
- Heysham nominated by EDF Energy
- Dungeness nominated by EDF Energy
- Sellafield nominated by NDA
- Kirksanton nominated by RWE
- Braystones nominated by RWE
- Wylfa Peninsula nominated by NDA and RWE
- Oldbury nominated by NDA and EON
- Hinkley Point nominated by EDF Energy
- Bradwell nominated by NDA
- Sizewell nominated by EDF Energy
The Guardian published an interactive map, but this missed off the two coastal, green-field, sites in Cumbria : Braystones, about 3.5km from Sellafield near Egremont, and Kirksanton, near Millom, about 23km from Sellafield.
For further information on the Strategic Siting Assessment Process see New Nuclear Monitor No.16, April 2009.
After assessment those sites which were found to be suitable for the development of new nuclear power stations were listed in the draft Nuclear National Policy statement (NPS), which was first published for public consultation in November 2009, alongside draft NPSs covering other types of energy infrastructure and an Overarching NPS which gives guidance applicable to all energy infrastructure including nuclear power stations. The consultation on the draft Energy NPSs including the draft Nuclear NPS closed in February 2010. Before the first draft Nuclear NPS was published, Dungeness had been dropped from the list of possible sites, because of concerns about flooding.
For further information on the first National Policy Statement consultation see New Nuclear Monitor No.19.
A second consultation on a set of revised draft NPSs was conducted between October 2010 and January 2011. This second consultation dropped the two green field sites in Cumbria, leaving eight sites remaining. Material relating to both consultations on the Energy National Policy Statements can be found here.
For more information on this second consultation see New Nuclear Monitor No.26.