Geoffrey lends his support to Sizewell project
The East of England plays a key role in fuelling UK electricity generation. We have a key strategic gas facility, nuclear power from Sizewell, and a vast array of offshore wind turbines. The UK fuel mix is currently 41% gas; 29% coal; 19% nuclear; and 9% renewables. New nuclear generation is a vital ingredient in the mix to deliver clean energy, and make us less dependent on potentially unreliable energy supply from Russia and the Middle East.
Local Conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden, who takes a strong interest in energy security, and is a staunch advocate of increased nuclear supply, has again visited the Sizewell nuclear site to get an update on progress.
He met the Sizewell B Power Station Director, Jim Crawford, and other EDF Energy employees. The existing Sizewell B plant will be decommissioned in 2035 and good progress is now being made on the plans for the new Sizewell C. The Office for Nuclear Regulation has completed its safety assessment of the design of reactors and the extensive public consultation has finished.
Mr Van Orden commented:
“The Sizewell nuclear site has been in operation since 1967. It has been a vital national asset and local source of employment with few local opponents. There has been intensive public consultation over the proposed Sizewell C , which eventually will provide some 6% of the UK’s energy needs - enough to meet all the needs of Suffolk and Norfolk.
“There are of course some real local concerns which are being addressed - not least the impact of construction on local traffic.
“The fact is, there has been underinvestment in Britain’s energy infrastructure for decades. And we had lost the engineering expertise to build new nuclear facilities for ourselves. Now we need to move rapidly to catch up. In this regard, I am delighted that there are over 50 apprentices among the 520 staff currently at Sizewell.
“I hope we can see early assent to the Energy Bill and agreement on a price for electricity that will be helpful to both domestic and business consumers as well as the contractors.
“Britain’s future depends on secure, sustainable supply of energy as well as a leap forward in terms of transport and communications infrastructure. There is much to be done - we are beginning to make progress.”