More than 500 million fish, including protected species, could be sucked into the cooling system of a proposed £20bn nuclear power plant in Suffolk if construction goes ahead, environmental campaigners say. A local campaign group, Together Against Sizewell C (Tasc), claims the subsequent deaths of millions of fish is “inhumane and unacceptable” and flies in the face of the government’s green agenda. Also opposing the development, the bird conservation group RSPB expressed concern over predicted levels of fish loss on the marine birds that feed on them. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), a government agency, has assessed the marine impacts of the plant and said it was confident the mortality rates caused by Sizewell C would be “sustainable” and the impact on the wider marine community “insignificant”. Planning documents published by EDF have revealed that almost 8 million fish were “impinged” – or sucked into the cooling system – by the existing plant Sizewell B each year between 2009 and 2013. Extrapolating from these figures, Tasc has estimated that 28 million fish could be impinged in the cooling system of both plants each year, which is 560 million over the two decades the plants are expected to operate, between 2035 and 2055. The proposed plant is larger than Sizewell B and will take in 2.5 times the amount of seawater, Tasc said. Pete Wilkinson, the chair of Tasc and a co-founder of Greenpeace UK, said the estimates were “staggering”. Such wildlife loss was the “tip of the iceberg”, he said, as it did not take into account fish fry, eggs, crustacea and other aquatic life.
Guardian 28th April 2021 read more »
East Anglian Daily Times 28th April 2021 read more »
CEFAS turns a blind eye to the wholesale massacre of protected fish species due to EDF’s nuclear operations at Sizewell. Using figures taken directly from EdF’s own DCO documents for Sizewell C, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has calculated the scale of the slaughter of fish which will occur in the event that Sizewell C is approved and operates alongside the existing ‘B’ plant between 2035 and 2055, the assumed start date for Sizewell C and the year in which Sizewell B is now expected to cease operations, assuming it applies for and is granted regulatory approval for the expected twenty year life extension to 2055. In that twenty year period, an estimated 560 million fish will be sucked into (entrained) and impinged within the cooling systems of both plants, with a toll of 28.5 million fish every year. Sizewell C, taking in 131 cubic metres of seawater per second – 2.5 times that of Sizewell B – will be responsible for 20 million of that number, or over 70% of the total. But this staggering figure hides a grim truth: it represents only a percentage of the overall impact on the marine environment inflicted by nuclear power. Unknown millions of eggs, marine crustaceans, larvae and post larval stages of fish fry along with other marine biota are entrained through the nuclear plant cooling systems every year, adding to the toll of those impinged on the mesh of the cooling intakes and the decimation of fish stocks.
TASC 28th April 2021 read more »
The Planning Inspectorate has approved the 15 design changes to the Sizewell C nuclear power station submitted by its developer EDF. In a letter, the Planning Inspectorate said that while the proposed changes “represent material changes to the original application”, they are “not so material” to require a new application and “the development now being proposed is in substance that which was originally applied for”. EDF submitted the design changes earlier this year, after feedback from earlier rounds of consultation on the environmental impact of the project, while in March the Planning Inspectorate asked for more information about several proposed changes. The design changes proposed by EDF include increasing rail and sea deliveries during construction to reduce the number of HGVs on Suffolk’s local roads. EDF also plans to reduce the use of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) land on the Sizewell estate by working closely with Sizewell A, which is being decommissioned. It also plans to use existing land within the Sizewell nuclear licensed area for critical buildings that must be moved to allow construction to get underway. In addition, the proposed new design of a crossing over the Sizewell Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will result in less of the SSSI being used for the project. Additional land for the creation of fen meadow to compensate for the loss of fen meadow land has also been identified.
New Civil Engineer 29th April 2021 read more »