*SAVE SUFFOLK'S HERITAGE COAST & WILDLIFE SITES* SAY NO TO SIZEWELL C

by Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

*SAVE SUFFOLK'S HERITAGE COAST & WILDLIFE SITES* SAY NO TO SIZEWELL C

by Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)
Case Owner
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) is a community-based group of like-minded individuals who have been actively campaigning on a voluntary basis, since 2013, to stop EDF’s plans to build Sizewell C.
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Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)
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Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) is a community-based group of like-minded individuals who have been actively campaigning on a voluntary basis, since 2013, to stop EDF’s plans to build Sizewell C.
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Latest: May 14, 2024

Supreme Court denies TASC application for Sizewell C appeal

Together Against Sizewell C are extremely disappointed to advise that our application for an appeal hearing at the Supreme Court has been denied. However,  the fact remains the same – Size…

Read more

Together against Sizewell C (TASC) Urgently Needs Your Help.

Please act now to prevent the brutal industrialisation, decimation and devastation that will result from building, operating and decommissioning EDF Sizewell C: two unnecessary nuclear reactors on Suffolk's fragile Heritage Coast within the precious landscape of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, permanently burying 15 acres of Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest under concrete as well as having potentially catastrophic impacts on the adjoining RSPB Minsmere nature reserve. Much flora and fauna which is part of the web of life in this unique location will be under severe threat and will be lost. 

Hinkley Point C's 24/7 construction including impact on dark skies. Sizewell C will be a replica.

Sizewell C is not a 'done deal'- 

  •  it requires a nuclear tax on energy bills and direct UK government investment as debt-crippled 84% French government owned EDF cannot provide funds to meet the £20+ billion build cost;
  • it has no proven supply for up to 2.8 million litres mains water needed daily during the 60 year operational period;
  • the design of the crucial sea defences has not been finalised;
  • geotechnical trials to test the suitability of the ground have not been undertaken;
  • the project needs licences from the Office of Nuclear Regulation and permits from the Environment Agency.

With the support of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and the help of TASC's lawyers, Leigh Day, we will apply every legal means possible to stop the Sizewell C madness.

Your help and financial contributions are crucial -  every little helps and will be gratefully received.

On the 8th July 2022 the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy is due to announce his decision whether to grant planning permission for the construction of EDF's unproven EPR technology at Sizewell. Recent and frequent official statements lead TASC to believe the decision is a foregone conclusion and approval is likely to be given.

TASC require £20,000 now in order to meet the initial costs of our experts and legal team with their review and assessment of the rationale for the Secretary of State's decision. If their advice is positive, TASC intends to renew its fundraising appeal to cover the costs of launching their legal case. Therefore, any donations now, in excess of our starting fundraising target, would be gratefully received.

  

 

Eroded dunes in front of the Sizewell C site after a storm in Spring 2022 

Sizewell C will be sited next to Sizewell B on one of the fastest eroding coastlines in Europe, vulnerable to climate change induced rising sea levels, increased storm surges and more extreme weather events. The 14 metre sea wall will encroach on the Heritage Coast's county wildlife site, with the potential to be built higher when the impacts of climate change take hold. EDF have only seen fit to model climate change impacts and flood risk to 2140 even though lethally hot and radioactive spent fuel is expected to remain on site till the late 2100s.

The Suffolk Heritage Coast, Sizewell Marshes SSSI, RSPB Minsmere (the UK’s flagship rare bird and wildlife sanctuary) and the marine environment are all under threat, as well as acres of rural Suffolk, which if Sizewell C proceeds, will become one of the largest building sites in Europe.

The Sizewell C site from this to...............................

Sizewell C will permanently change this beautiful, tranquil and fragile area to one of brutal industrialisation. It will add huge amounts of carbon to the atmosphere during the 12 plus years of construction which, incredibly, may have to be provided with water from an environmentally damaging desalination plant for 60 years of operation, a technology EDF itself described as inappropriate. Sizewell C will leave a lethal legacy of radioactive waste on our crumbling shore to be guarded for hundreds of years by generations as yet unborn. Read more… and watch Suffolk Coastal Friends of the earth video…

“Minsmere is not just a nice nature reserve, it’s a place where extinct birds came back and danced. That’s not poetry, that’s scientific fact”                                                                             Simon Barnes Author and Journalist.



TASC Urgently Need Your Help and will be extremely grateful if you could donate whatever you can for TASC to retain experts and legal assistance from Leigh Day as we move forward with our continued efforts to stop EDF’s Sizewell C.



Update 27

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

May 14, 2024

Supreme Court denies TASC application for Sizewell C appeal

Together Against Sizewell C are extremely disappointed to advise that our application for an appeal hearing at the Supreme Court has been denied. However,  the fact remains the same – Sizewell C, which is situated in the driest drought-prone region of the country, still has no guaranteed sustainable mains water supply essential for its slated 60 years of operation and the full environmental impacts of getting mains water to the site are yet to be assessed. Although it may have been deemed lawful to build a nuclear power station without a mains water supply and whose sister project, Hinkley Point C, is now expected to cost £46 billion, one must not only question the UK’s planning system but also this government’s logic to have already ploughed £2.5 billion of taxpayer funds into a project as risky as Sizewell C.

Those who have followed our journey through the courts may recall our Ground 6 argument was that the Secretary of State “acted irrationally in concluding the site would be clear of nuclear material by 2140…”. Despite that claim being dismissed in the High Court, TASC’s position has now been vindicated by SZC Ltd admitting, during East Suffolk Council’s (ESC) review of the applications to discharge DCO Requirements 12 and 19, that 2160 is the expected date for spent fuel to be removed from site. SZC Ltd only admitted to the 2160 date after pressure from ESC which in turn was because of TASC’s representations to ESC – it is somewhat disconcerting that it has taken the persistence of a campaign group to establish the full lifetime of the SZC nuclear site and we question why, during the DCO examination, our argument over the full lifetime of the site was not supported by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Environment Agency, our chief nuclear regulators. TASC have taken this matter up with the planning inspectorate.

TASC are appalled that the ONR recently granted a Nuclear Site Licence (NSL) for Sizewell C, sited on one of Europe’s fastest eroding coastlines, (see our press release). This is despite the flood risk modelling and therefore the site safety case having only been carried out to 2140, even though the ONR are aware spent fuel will remain on site till at least 2160, and the final design of the sea defences has been scoped out of the NSL assessment. Prior to the grant of the NSL, TASC wrote to the ONR expressing our concerns.

Picture: recent erosion in front of the Sizewell C site

Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s deputy Chair, has recently had an article about Sizewell C published in the East Anglia Bylines magazine

“The tragedy is that nuclear is now a redundant technology which takes too long to come to our climate-change rescue and is not fit to be in the front-line of defence against climate change. It does not represent a plan of great urgency to meet the accelerating existential threats of climate change.”

TASC are extremely grateful to all those who have continued to support our campaign. The uncertainties around funding, lack of permits and growing local opposition offer many opportunities which we are exploring. TASC are reviewing our options, and we are certainly not giving up.

Looking ahead...

The Coastal Path.

The plans for diverting the coastal path in front of the Sizewell C site have just gone on the Suffolk County Council website. The consultation closes on May 22nd. Please look at the plans and send in a comment.
The map looks as if you will need wellies at high tide. The popular Park Runners must be worried as we all should be. Goodbye to quiet walks along the beach.

https://suffolk.planning-register.co.uk/Planning/Display?applicationNumber=SCC%2F0045%2F24%2FDOR#undefined


 

Support Stop Sizewell C Campaign.

TAKE ACTION - there are six companies considering an investment in Sizewell C. Please write to them.

Take Action #1. Write to Investors:
Stop Sizewell C have SIX campaign actions directed at these companies and request you to do them all! They are all accessible via

https://action.stopsizewellc.org
Update 26

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Jan. 28, 2024

UK government double down on Sizewell C despite EDF's woes at Hinkley Point C

You may be aware a lot has happened since TASC emailed on Monday 22nd  to advise the good news that our legal team have applied to take the Sizewell C challenge to the Supreme Court. Around six o’clock that same evening the government announced it had gifted a further £1.3 billion of UK taxpayers’ funds to the Sizewell C project. This takes the total government investment into the Sizewell C white elephant to a staggering £2.5billion all without a final investment decision, update or transparency on predicted costs, a nuclear site licence, nor a final design of the sea defences required to keep the site safe for its full lifetime [until all spent fuel is removed, and the interim spent fuel store decommissioned].

It is frustrating  to read that the further funding will “support ongoing preparatory works such as improvement to roads and rail lines around the Suffolk site” so not only will there be further environmental damage in a National Landscape and SSSI for a project that may never be completed but we as taxpayers, now find we are also being required to pay for what EDF proposed in their DCO as mitigation for the Sizewell C project.  This will also result in a ramping up of the workforce and vehicular activity thereby adversely impacting the daily lives of the residents of East Suffolk.

Of the £2.5 billion, only £1.7 billion had previously been budgeted by government. It is therefore imperative that DESNZ (Dept for Energy Security and Net Zero) discloses the origin of the additional £800 million of new money and which other budgets will suffer.

The morning after the government announced the additional £1.3 billion, EDF ‘came clean’ on huge increases in costs and time delays for Hinkley Point C, the project that Sizewell C is supposed to be replicating. This is very disconcerting as Minister Bowie and DESNZ, when revealing the additional £1.3 billion, must have been fully aware of the statement to be made by EDF the following day regarding Hinkley Point C’s staggering cost increase, potentially up to £46 billion in 2023 money, and delays till as late as 2031. Hinkley Point C’s woes and it implications for Sizewell C have been reported in the media, including the Guardian.

I believe that Hinkley Point C is now a loss-making project for EDF. Its costs have climbed, of course, but also the assumptions for the plant’s running rate were too optimistic from the start,” Huet said. “Writing EDF a blank cheque will not help. And the UK government should be concerned about plans for new EPRs [reactors] at Sizewell. What assurances are there that the project will deliver on current promises?”

TASC believe that by allowing the French government to play such a central role in our nuclear industry, the UK has put itself in a vulnerable position. French government owned EDF’s financial woes at Hinkley Point C and this government’s willingness to throw money at the Sizewell C project, exposes the UK to manipulation by France. TASC is concerned the UK government will yield to Frances’s demands for UK taxpayer investment into Hinkley Point C or alternatively to use UK taxpayer money to prop up the French state by ploughing extra funds into the Sizewell C white elephant. This exposes the risible claims of a ‘home grown’ ‘Great British Nuclear’. UK nuclear has French owners, French developers building French designed (inherently flawed) EPR reactors.

TASC have written to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, expressing our concerns regarding the above matters calling on her department to :-

  1. Cancel the Sizewell C project and ensure that all the environmental damage inflicted by the works to date is made good.
  2. Publish an up-to-date costing for SZC, confirm the amount that the UK government was proposing to invest in SZC and then Invest that amount in renewables, energy efficiency, decentralisation of generation, microtechnology, energy storage, smart grids and insulation of the UK’s building stock. These will be far better investments of taxpayer funds allowing quicker deployment at vastly reduced costs and leaving no radioactive waste burden for future generations.
  3. This will enable the UK to make up some of the shortfall in achieving the UK’s 2035 net zero targets created by the continued delays at HPC, something to which SZC is unable to make a contribution.
  4. Provide the detail of the budgets from which the additional £800 million injected into the SZC project has been allocated.
  5. Confirm that the UK government will not be providing finance to the HPC project.
  6. Provide TASC and Stop Sizewell C with a response to the 10 areas of concern that we submitted to Caroline Botwood on 18th December 2023 


TASC take this opportunity to thank all those that have donated to support our application for an appeal to the Supreme Court. The good news is that, at the time of writing, we are only a few hundred pounds away from reaching the £8,000 required for this stage of our legal challenge. Again, many thanks from all in TASC – we could not do this without you.

Update 25

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Jan. 21, 2024

TASC LTD APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT

Excellent news! Our legal team recommend we fight on and apply to take the legal challenge against Sizewell C to the Supreme Court.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) joined with supporters Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth to issue a joint statement:

 "With Ministers greenlighting deeply flawed Sizewell C, despite no identified operational water supply, no acceptable design of sea defences necessary to keep the site safe for 100-plus years, ignoring warnings of climate change related extreme weather events and the need to build resilient and sustainable infrastructure, we are delighted our legal team are taking the Sizewell C fight to the Supreme Court. It is the government's decision to drive a bulldozer through East Suffolk by triggering Sizewell C's construction when it has no nuclear site licence, no Final Investment Decision or transparency about how much the project will cost or who might pay for it, that has forced us to take our case to the highest court in the land."

Unfortunately, we again need your help and call on your support as we strive to raise the £8,000 needed to cover this stage of the legal proceedings. We really could not have got this far without your generosity and are extremely grateful for any contribution you can make to help us meet these costs – see our Crowd Justice fundraiser.

The Leigh Day Press Release 22nd January 2024 follows:-

Campaigners apply for Supreme Court appeal in fight against Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station

Undeterred campaigners will fight on and bid to take their legal challenge against the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station to the Supreme Court.

Together Against Sizewell C Limited (TASC) is refusing to admit defeat after Court of Appeal judges ruled that the issue of a permanent water supply and public interest in the development was not enough to derail the project in law.

TASC went to the Court of Appeal after its judicial review of then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s 2022 decision to give development consent to the 3.2 gigawatt power station was dismissed. Mr Kwarteng gave permission for the power station against the advice of the planning Examining Authority and TASC brought a range of arguments about the need for a water supply to make the project sustainable in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Now, represented by the environment team at law firm Leigh Day, plus barristers David Wolfe KC (Matrix), Ashley Bowes (Landmark) and Ruchi Parekh (Cornerstone), TASC has applied to the Supreme Court for permission to bring an appeal.

TASC says it is clear a desalination plant will be needed to guarantee a permanent water supply of two million litres per day for Sizewell C. However, the environmental impact of acquiring such a supply was not included in the planning application for the nuclear power plant and therefore was neither assessed nor taken into account by the Business Secretary.

TASC said the issue of a water supply should not have been treated as a separate issue to the power plant application which EDF claims will produce electricity for 60 years in the heart of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

TASC say the company could at any time have decided to proceed with a desalination plant but, instead, chose to keep open the option of a supply provided by Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWL). Also, it is put that if Sizewell C did rely on NWL for its potable water, the scale and location of the power station would necessitate additional infrastructure and the impacts of this, including harm to sites of vulnerable habitat protected by European (now domestic) law, have not been assessed.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) joined with supporters Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth to issue a joint statement: [as above]

Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith said:

“Fundamentally, our client is arguing that, without a permanent water supply, Sizewell C cannot operate, so the environmental impacts of sourcing that water needed to be assessed before development consent was given. The failure to do so was made even worse, so they say, given Suffolk is in drought and has vulnerable habitats, which need to be protected. We sincerely hope the Supreme Court grants permission to appeal for this decision to be looked at again.” 

TASC is fundraising towards the costs of the legal challenge.

For more information contact Leigh Day press office at pressoffice@leighday,co.uk

_____________________________________________________


Energy Minister, Andrew Bowie’s visit to Sizewell to announce the triggering of the Sizewell C DCO

A massive thank you to all those that turned up at short notice to brave the freezing temperatures on Monday 15th January to be part of the joint protest with Stop Sizewell C against the minister’s visit. The government portrayed the minister’s visit as a major milestone marking the start of construction but in reality, work started over two years ago with the destruction of Coronation Wood and has continued since with the clearance of hundreds of acres in the Coast and Heaths National Landscape, including areas of the Sizewell Marshes SSSI. Minister Bowie’s visit was more about political theatre than anything of substance, Bowie being at least the fifth different minister to turn up at Sizewell in a desperate attempt to show the project is progressing.

 

Picture: satellite images from January 2022 and 2024 comparing the Sizewell area, courtesy of Copernicus Data Space Ecosystem  

 

TASC issued the following press statement prior to the minister’s arrival:-

 

‘After broken promises of a return visit to Suffolk to meet with local communities affected by the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, Energy Minister Andrew Bowie has finally arrived at Sizewell today to trigger the Development Consent Order and enable construction to begin on the controversial project.

 

‘Jenny Kirtley, Chair of Together Against Sizewell C, condemned the decision, stating: "By enabling Sizewell C construction to start, the UK government, as majority shareholder, is permitting permanent environmental damage to the Heritage Coast and biodiversity of East Suffolk, directly contradicting its own green agenda. The government is recklessly pursuing Sizewell C despite no final investment decision, no updated cost estimates, no nuclear site licence, no final sea defence design or guaranteed water supply for the plant's 60-year operational lifespan - meaning there is no certainty that Sizewell C will ever be completed. Driven by nuclear ideology rather than practicality, the government is showing blatant disregard for the protected landscape of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its environment. This heart-breaking decision to destroy the local area is even more galling as taxpayer money is funding the project."

 


 


After events onsite, Together Against Sizewell C and Stop Sizewell C briefly met with Minister Bowie and DESNZ officials. There was a frank discussion starting with the Minister apologising for failing to stick to his promise to meet with Town and Parish Councillors. We conveyed our great concerns about the exclusion of NGOs from the Sizewell C Community forums, the lack of adequate coastal defences, the impacts on the local communities, the secrecy around the cost of the project and timing of a Final Investment Decision.

 


 

TASC really appreciate all your support, we could not do this without you.

 



Update 24

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Dec. 20, 2023

Court of Appeal decision

TASC are extremely disappointed with the Court of Appeal’s decision to refuse our Sizewell C judicial review claim which ironically comes shortly after Water Resources East have projected water shortages for Eastern England of 800 million litres of water per day by 2050 – the equivalent of a third of current water use in the region. When it is imperative, due to climate change impacts, that sustainability and resilience are at the heart of all planning decisions, we struggle to understand how it can be considered lawful, or indeed rational, to give DCO approval to a £30billion+ project allowing Sizewell C to be built without securing a guaranteed potable water supply for the 2.2 million litres per day that is essential for its 60 years of operation. Those involved throughout the DCO process will be fully aware this is not the only flaw in the Sizewell C project, part of the government’s fantasy plans to kickstart a ‘nuclear renaissance’. There is still no final design of the sea defences essential to keep the site safe for it full 150-year lifetime, so it is no surprise that a government struggling to find financial backers for the project is passing the risk of the inevitable cost and time overruns to the UK taxpayer through the RAB financing scheme.

Despite the absence of finance for the Sizewell C project, EDF and the UK government are ploughing ahead with their preliminary works laying waste to large swathes of Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It is clear that the Sizewell C white elephant is fast becoming the next HS2.

Together Against Sizewell C, jointly with Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and Stop Sizewell C have issued the following press statement about the Court of Appeal’s decision to deny our Sizewell C judicial review claim:-

‘We are dismayed by this decision and struggle to understand how the potable water supply that £30billion+ Sizewell C is totally reliant on for its 60 years of operation can be considered lawfully, or indeed rationally, as a separate project, particularly as its absence caused the panel of 5 expert planning inspectors to caution against Sizewell C being awarded planning consent.’

On the wider issue of the government's policy the campaign groups said, ‘Government seems hell-bent on continuing this reckless and blinkered rush towards the cliff edge of deeper national bankruptcy and continued environmental damage in its vain attempt to reach net zero carbon by 2050 through betting taxpayers' money on nuclear power. It will not work. The real tragedy, however, is that we’ll all have to go down with the nuclear ship as the policy unravels and sinks over the next 20 years and as the climate change crisis deepens. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have the power to stop Sizewell C: we can only encourage them to step up, flex their regulatory muscles and call Sizewell C out for the polluting, unnecessary and wasteful white elephant it is and refuse to licence it. We call on external investors to shun it. The alternative is that we have to watch the slow and painful demise of the government's misguided policy while climate change delivers its promise to be an existential threat to the planet. Our fight for the soul of Suffolk will continue and we are in discussions with our legal team to consider our plans moving forward.’

TASC would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters and wish you a merry Christmas and happy New Year .

We will be back in contact in 2024.

Update 23

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Dec. 4, 2023

Further update on Sizewell C as we wait for the Appeal Court's decision

Even though the Court of Appeal have yet to decide whether the approval of the Sizewell C (SZC) project was lawful, Sizewell C Co (SZC Co) continues to press ahead with the clearance of hundreds of acres of the main development site, replacing woodland, hedgerows, wildlife habitat and farmland with concrete, tarmac and hardstanding. Regardless of the obvious environmental damage being caused, SZC Co continues to greenwash its activities and overlook the damage they create – a recent promotional piece implies that they are improving the lives of badgers by closing off their setts and forcing them to move elsewhere, a practice SZC Co (a partnership between EDF and the UK government) describes as ‘shuffling them on”.  These activities are still being conducted under the guise of so-called ‘preliminary works’, because formal commencement of the DCO project has not officially started and is despite there being no final investment decision required to finance the project nor a nuclear site licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

Photo shows the Sizewell C site cleared of all nature – November 2023

As part of the DCO approval, there are numerous ‘Requirements’ that SZC Co need to deal with, many of which, after applications are submitted by the developer, must be approved by East Suffolk Council (ESC). Recent applications involve the Requirement (no. 19) to supply a final design for the all-important sea defences that are essential to keep the SZC site safe for its full lifetime (a period of 160 years according to the ONR and Environment Agency joint guidance at the time of the DCO examination). Unbelievably, SZC Co’s recent submission of the ‘final’ design of the sea defences admits it is not, in fact, despite the assertion, a final design and has also reduced the design life of the sea defences to 2120 even though spent nuclear fuel will be stored on site till the mid to late 2100s. TASC’s submission to ESC in response to SZC Co’s application for the discharge of Requirement 19 can be found here.

Suffolk was a victim of the many storms that occurred over the last few weeks, causing severe flooding inland and accelerated erosion along the Suffolk coastline including in front of the Sizewell nuclear sites. TASC have written to Suffolk’s MPs, including Suffolk Coastal’s Therese Coffey (a copy of which can be accessed here) in relation to the recent storms which have reinforced the concerns of many residents in relation to the vulnerability of the Sizewell C (SZC) site to rising sea levels, increased storm surges and more extreme weather events as a result of climate change. As set out in the letter to the MPs, this also has implications for the commercial viability of the SZC project.

“The Office for Nuclear Regulation advised TASC that it will take about 70 years after the plant stops generating electricity for spent fuel to cool sufficiently, be safely moved offsite and the store decommissioned (broadly supporting the applicant’s own documents referenced in Note 2). With the existing spent fuel strategy, the only way a 2120 deadline could be met at Sizewell C would be to slash its operating life by over 30 years, meaning generation stops as early as 2050, driving a coach and horses through this project's claimed commercial viability and contribution to meeting the UK’s climate change goals.”

Photo shows cliff fall and further erosion in front of the Sizewell C site – 26th November 2023

 

As has been widely reported, the UK government is still desperately scrabbling around to find investors foolish enough to risk funding the Sizewell C project, the latest being the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as was reported in this recent Guardian article ‘UAE approached to invest in Sizewell C nuclear power plant’. UAE attempts to buy the Daily Telegraph have raised political concerns about whether the Emirates' leadership shares UK values and positions, for example on Gaza and Saudi Arabia's human rights record. Alison Downes from Stop Sizewell C was quoted in the Guardian “There may be a dearth of UK interest in Sizewell C, but there is no energy security in handing chunks of the UK’s critical national assets to countries that don’t share our values. If the UAE is not good enough for the Telegraph, it’s definitely not good enough for Sizewell C.”  The government recently advised that as well as speaking to the UAE they were also engaging with Centrica and the Universities’ Superannuation Service (USS).  Our friends at Stop Sizewell C have set up a new online campaign page so members of the public can easily send messages to these organisations asking then not to invest in Sizewell C. This can be accessed from Stop Sizewell C’s action page and it would be great if as many as possible could send messages.

TASC is extremely grateful for all the support that so many have given to us, enabling our campaign against Sizewell C to continue. We still have a little way to go to reach our fundraising target to cover our legal costs to date so any further contributions will be gratefully received.

Update 22

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Nov. 3, 2023

TASC and friends at the Court of Appeal

Photo Caption: Together Against Sizewell C and supporters (including Diana Quick) gather at the Royal Courts of Justice ahead of the legal challenge to Sizewell C being heard in the Court of Appeal, 1 and 2 November 2023.

Credit: Together Against Sizewell C/Stop Sizewell C


On 1st and 2nd November, the Court of Appeal heard Together Against Sizewell C's challenge to the development consent for the Sizewell C nuclear power station. The issues of the case are whether the Secretary of State should have assessed the environmental impacts of the power station together with its potable water supply as a single project or, failing that, whether he should have assessed the cumulative effects of the two projects.


TASC Chair, Jenny Kirtley said "As one of the Justices pointed out during one and a half days of legal arguments, in a worse-case scenario Kwasi Kwarteng's decision to grant Sizewell C development consent without identifying or assessing its essential potable water supply could result in a brand new £30 billion+ 'gleaming power station' on Suffolk's Heritage Coast which may never be able to operate. How can granting Sizewell C consent, on the hope that a sustainable and environmentally acceptable supply will someday be found, be lawful?"


Paul Collins, Chair of Stop Sizewell C said "Given the uncertainties that remain around Sizewell C, not only its water but other aspects of the project too, it's nothing short of scandalous that it has already sucked up over a billion pounds of taxpayers' money. Potential investors should stay well clear and the government should cut its losses and not waste any more of our hard-earned cash on this risky, damaging project."

Rachel Fulcher from Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth said "Our members are heart-broken that Sizewell C Co. is continuing to clear hundreds of acres of the site and its environs, thereby destroying irreplaceable wildlife habitats, even before the outcome of the legal challenge is known."

Part of the Sizewell C site clearance 31st October 2023

The Appeal Court hearing was reported in numerous media outlets including the independent

"Barrister David Wolfe KC, who is leading Together Against Sizewell C’s legal team, told appeal judges on Wednesday that the central issue relates to whether a “development consent order” was lawful “without any assessment” of the environmental impacts of an “essential” fresh water supply."

TASC are extremely grateful to all those that took the time to attend the court in person, all those that watched online and the many that have made our continued court action possible with their generous donations. 

Update 21

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Oct. 22, 2023

UPDATE: TASC’S SIZEWELL C JR APPEAL COURT HEARING 1ST- 2ND NOVEMBER 2023

UPDATE: TASC’S SIZEWELL C JR APPEAL COURT HEARING 1ST- 2ND NOVEMBER 2023


A massive thank you to all those who have supported our fundraising efforts to cover the legal costs for our appeal court hearing on 1st and 2nd November. We are pleased to say that we have benefitted from many donations in addition to those collected via Crowd Justice and have also had the help from our friends at Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth. The result is that we have been able to reduce our Crowd Justice target from £65,000 to £49,000 meaning we need a further £5,000 to reach our revised target. If you or any of your friends/contacts are able to make a further donation that would be very much appreciated.


TASC are pleased to advise that the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the hearing will be live streamed on the Court’s YouTube channel which can be found at: https://www.judiciary.uk/the-court-of-appeal-civil-division-live-streaming-of-court-hearings/. At present, it is expected that the court hearing will start at 10.00am on 1st November 2023 but the actual start time on that day will not be confirmed until the court’s daily list is published on 31st October – the list can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/royal-courts-of-justice-cause-list/royal-courts-of-justice-daily-cause-list#court-of-appeal-civil-division-daily-cause-list If you would like to attend the court in person we will be pleased to see you there - Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL. Please allow 30 minutes to clear the security checks.


All are welcome to come, indeed this is an opportunity for as many as possible to demonstrate the strength of feeling there is regarding this environmentally damaging and unnecessary project.

Update 20

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Oct. 8, 2023

TASC BACK IN COURT 1ST- 2ND NOVEMBER 2023

TASC BACK IN COURT 1ST- 2ND NOVEMBER 2023


Together Against Sizewell C is delighted to announce that we now have the date for our judicial review in the Court of Appeal, a two-day hearing has been set for Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd November 2023. This will give our legal team the opportunity to present TASC’s appeal against Justice Holgate’s refusal in the High Court of our judicial review of then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s decision to give development consent to Sizewell C. The unusually early date for the hearing is a result of pressure from the government requesting the case be treated as a priority.

TASC continues to have the support of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and Stop Sizewell C in this vitally important battle for the soul of the Heritage Coast, however because of the short timeframe that has been forced on us we have little time to raise the £25,000 needed to cover the costs of our legal team for this appeal stage of the proceedings. Our legal action started over a year ago and has involved various stages all of which have been funded by many generous individuals and organisations. TASC appreciate that this is a difficult time for many but, unfortunately, we need to ask for further donations to pursue our legal challenge that exposes some of the flaws in this government's plans for more nuclear development on the fragile Suffolk coast.

TASC will be extremely grateful to all those who are able to support our important legal challenge. We cannot do this without you as we are entirely dependent on donations. Your support for TASC's legal challenge demonstrates a continued determination and unity of purpose which strengthens a collective resolve to see off EDF Sizewell C and this government’s plans to disfigure and ruin Suffolk’s Heritage Coast and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Further details advising on how to observe the hearing in the Court of Appeal will be supplied in the near future. TASC hope there will be the possibility to either attend in person or hopefully on-line. This will give the opportunity for as many as possible to demonstrate the strength of feeling there is regarding this environmentally damaging and unnecessary project.

Update 19

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Sept. 16, 2023

TASC & friends due back in court!

TASC have won permission for another hearing to challenge the go ahead to build Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station on the issue of a permanent water supply and because of public interest in the development.

 

Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Coulson says the Together Against Sizewell C Limited (TASC) arguments around the need for a desalination plant on the Suffolk Coast should be looked at again.

 

He has given TASC permission to appeal against Mr Justice Holgate’s refusal in the High Court of their judicial review of then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s decision to give development consent to the 3.2 gigawatt power station.

 

The judge said that, given Mr Kwarteng gave permission for the power station against the advice of the planning Examining Authority, and because of TASC’s range of arguments about the need for a water supply, the appeal had 'a real prospect of success'.

 

He added that a further reason to grant permission to appeal was the scale and public interest surrounding the Sizewell C project.

 

At the High Court hearing, TASC argued it is clear a desalination plant will be needed to guarantee a permanent water supply of 2.2 million litres per day for Sizewell C. However, the environmental impact of such a plant was not included in the planning application for the nuclear power plant and therefore was neither assessed nor taken into account by the Business Secretary.

 

TASC said the issue of a water supply should not have been treated as a separate issue to the power plant application which EDF claims will produce electricity for 60 years in the heart of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Natural Beauty.

 

On appeal, it is argued that Mr Justice Holgate was wrong to say that NNB Generation Company (SZC) Limited was “unable to identify a permanent supply of potable water” and that water supply connections were “simply unknown”. TASC say the company could at any time have decided to proceed with a desalination plant but, instead, chose to keep open the option of a supply provided by Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWL). Also, it is put that if Sizewell C did rely on NWL for its potable water, the scale and location of the power station would necessitate additional infrastructure and the impacts of this, including harm to European Sites, have not been assessed.

 

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) Chair Jenny Kirtley said:

 "TASC are delighted by the appeal court's decision and welcome the acknowledgement that our appeal, challenging the Secretary of State’s approval of Sizewell C, has a real prospect of success’.

 

“Sizewell C’s long-term supply of potable water is speculatively reliant on
Northumbrian Water's proposed 2024 water supply plan, which requires domestic consumers to reduce their water use by over 30% while simultaneously reducing current water abstraction levels to protect the environment. Sizewell C’s dependence on an energy intensive and polluting desalination plant for the 15-year construction period and potentially for 60 years of operation, should have been assessed and presented in the Development Consent Order Application, but was not. After nearly 15 years of consultation and planning it is astonishing that this £30 billion-plus nuclear project has no clear path towards a sustainable operational plan for its water requirements.

 

“We thank our legal team for all their efforts and all those who have supported our campaign including our friends from Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth."

 

Paul Collins Chair of Stop Sizewell C said: 

 "Despite this legal challenge it is clear that Ministers have now ploughed over a billion pounds of taxpayers' cash into this risky damaging project. This flow of funding into Sizewell C should cease until our appeal against the lawfulness of the Secretary of State's decision is resolved."

 

Rachel Fulcher from Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth said:"Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth wholeheartedly support TASC in pursuing this appeal. Meanwhile we will continue to focus on saving what we can of East Suffolk's precious wildlife, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and our beautiful Heritage Coast which are already being devastated by EDF's so-called 'preliminary works'.”

 

 

Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith said:

 “Our client is delighted that the Courts will further scrutinise the lawfulness of the process that led up to the decision to grant development consent for a third nuclear power plant at Sizewell. 

 

“TASC will now have another chance to argue that the permanent water supply was either part of the Sizewell C project, meaning its impacts needed to be assessed as part of the whole development application, or the water supply was a separate project, in which case its likely impacts needed to be added to those of the power station.”

 

The fight continues, so please donate what you can towards the legal case, every little helps and we are extremely grateful for your continued support. Sizewell C is not a done deal, they have many hurdles ahead. TASC are dependent on donations to cover our legal costs for the forthcoming hearing. Thank you.

 https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-suffolks-heritage-coast-w/

 

Update 18

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Sept. 3, 2023

Sizewell C update

Further Sizewell C news as TASC wait to hear whether our application to the Courts for permission to appeal has been accepted:-

On 31st August, yet another Secretary of State for Energy was announced, Claire Coutinho being appointed to replace Grant Shapps. Claire Coutinho is a former Treasury Adviser to Rishi Sunak and Minister for Children. Conservative Home has an article reporting her support for SSSIs, AONBs and her proposal for the establishment of ‘Wild Belts’, a new designation, the brainchild of the Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust, Craig Bennett, to help nature’s recovery. Craig supports TASC’s campaign see https://twitter.com/CraigBennett3/status/1680154717207265280?s=20, so TASC hope that she, Claire Coutinho, will take Craig Bennett’s opinions into account when considering Sizewell C. However, Open Democracy have an article setting out her links to the right wing think tank, Policy Exchange. Only time, if it is available to her, given the frequency that the Energy secretary’s job has changed hands and the impending general election, will allow us to see her true colours.

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On 29th August the government announced a further £341 million to support the Sizewell C project. TASC’s press release, which can be viewed here, was reported by Suffolk News, Pete Wilkinson, the deputy chair at TASC, said: “There seems to be a bottomless pit of public money when it comes to funding Sizewell C, so besotted is the government with this already redundant nuclear vanity project.”. The article also reported comments made by East Suffolk Green Party councillor and cabinet member for energy and climate change, Tom Daly “The government’s newfound enthusiasm for nuclear is not based on reality. It’s far too expensive and far too damaging. It’s a huge risk to our district that does not need to be taken.”  

Sizewell C Company Joint Managing Director, Julia Pyke, was reported as saying “This is great news...We want people living near Sizewell C to see the benefits of the project as soon as possible and we’re looking forward to getting started on a range of proposals which will bring real improvements to the area well before the main construction gets underway.”

In response TASC say, “The £341m recently announced, taking taxpayer funding over an eye-watering £1.2bn, is apparently designed to speed up preparations for construction of a plant which has yet to receive dozens of licences and permits – not the least of which is the ONR’s permission to build on a site threatened by climate change impacts – and is still subject to determination of an outstanding legal challenge.  Put another way, it is public money to be spent on the destruction of a coast which is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty for a project which may still not happen.”


The above image shows a large area cleared of trees, hedgerows and other vegetation. This is part of the preparatory clearance works for Sizewell C which includes the felling of over 100 acres of woodland.

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 26th August saw Essex Magazine publishing TASC’s article ‘Sizewell C project descends into farce’ “The Sizewell C development has offered observers an opportunity to monitor in great detail how a modern project costing at least Euros 30bn can and often does fall foul of environmental, financial, operational and political collapse. Government has been beguiled by nuclear power to the exclusion of all else, removing subsidies for green sources of electricity generation while finding hundreds of millions of pounds to incentivise nuclear power.”

 

  Image shows: Site clearance before the start of the Sizewell C project

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TASC thank you for your continued support

Update 17

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Aug. 5, 2023

More news from TASC on the Sizewell C front

While TASC wait to find out whether our application to the Courts for permission to appeal has been accepted, we wanted to update you on the many things that are happening in relation to Sizewell C.

On 24th July 2023 the government announced a further £170 million of taxpayer funds being ploughed into the Sizewell C development. TASC responded with the following press release:-

31st July 2023

Another kick in the teeth for UK taxpayers as EDF pockets another £170m of public money for their Sizewell C White Elephant.

In another lame attempt to prop up French adventurism into the UK’s energy sector, the UK government has handed a further £170m from the public purse (note 1) to EDF. With the CGN buy-out costing UK plc close to £700m and subsequent ‘encouragements’ to tempt reluctant investors to part with funding for the doomed development at Sizewell, this brings the total amount of public money handed over to EDF close to £1bn.

East Suffolk residents could be forgiven for thinking that Sizewell C is ‘shovel ready’: it is not. It is, in fact, a long way from the Final Investment Decision (FID), the point at which construction can begin. Even if the UK government and EDF can each stump up £6bn the project will still be 60% short of the estimated £30bn – a matter of £18bn to find. But that’s not all: dozens of licences and permits have yet to be issued by the regulatory authorities, including the site licence from the Office of Nuclear Regulation, and there is the small matter of finding 2.2 million litres of mains water every day for 60 years of operation here in the driest county in the country, already experiencing drought conditions.

Jenny Kirtley, Chair of Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), said today, ‘Government is using taxpayer money to directly fund the destruction of habitat within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Despite TASC's legal challenge fighting the decision to give the go ahead for Sizewell C, our appeal against that ruling being still in the balance, yet even in the face of all the hurdles the project has still to jump, EDF blithely ploughs on with its preparatory work, ripping the heart out of our fragile environment, increasing anxiety for residents, largely financed by the government. If EDF had a shred of decency, it would do the right thing and halt further work until the site licence is granted, a supply of mains water has been secured, permits issued, and the outcome of the judicial review appeal is known. If Sizewell C doesn’t get regulatory approval or sufficient investment – still entirely possible outcomes - we will be left with a diminished Heritage Coast and find UK plc £1bn worse off. Just think what we could have done to drive down demand for electricity with a billion pounds. Monsieur Macron must be laughing all the way to the bank.’

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Following the announcement of the additional £170 million ‘investment’ into the Sizewell C project, iNews subsequently revealed that £136 million had been diverted away from previously allocated government funding intended to support the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain to funding Sizewell C. With nearly a £ billion of taxpayer funds given to Sizewell C even though it  has not even reached a final investment decision, this is a clear example of how our government is using existing budgeted funds to shore up its nuclear ambitions which are unable to attract private investors.

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During the last few weeks TASC has responded to a steady stream of planning applications submitted to East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council by EDF to discharge numerous Requirements provided for in the Sizewell C DCO. These cover matters such as the site’s emergency plan; further felling of trees and vegetation clearance on the 44-hectare Goose Hill woodland, the Sizewell Marshes SSSI and the 33-hectare nuclear site, all prior to commencement of construction; the Coastal Processes Monitoring and Mitigation Plan; and early works on the Land East of Eastlands Industrial Estate - further details can be found on TASC’s website.

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On 31st July 2023 the Environment Agency confirmed that they had agreed EDF’s application to remove the need for an acoustic fish deterrent (AFD) from the original water discharge activity permit for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant currently under construction in Somerset. The final battle at Hinkley will be when EDF apply for a material change to have the AFD removed as a requirement in the DCO. TASC responded to the announcement in the following press release:-

2nd August 2023

SPINELESS ENVIRONMENT AGENCY ROLLS OVER FOR EDF

Hinkley Point fish stocks sacrificed: Sizewell's fish stocks could be next

A notification from the Environment Agency distributed on the first of August, starts with an encouraging statement reminding us that it is responsible for regulating environmental protection at nuclear sites, ensuring that people and the environment are properly protected (emphasis added).

 But behind the corporate speak of ‘permit variation’, the addition of ‘new limits and conditions’ and ‘discharge activity’ within the Water Activity Discharge permit for Sizewell C’s so-called sister plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, lies the cold, stark fact that the Environment Agency, which claims to ‘protect and improve the environment’, has removed the requirement to install an acoustic fish deterrent (AFD) at the head of its seawater intake in the Bristol Channel. In doing so the EA has condemned millions of fish and other marine creatures to their fate of impingement, injury and death adding to the many millions of fish fry, fish eggs, small fish and other marine biota that will be killed when entrained in the cooling system of the plant. Moreover, this situation is due to be repeated at Sizewell, meaning that Sizewell Bay fish stocks and marine creatures will likewise face decimation should the plant ever be built.

A spokesperson for Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), said today, ‘Our spineless environmental regulator has simply rolled over to do the nuclear industry’s dirty work, directly contradicting its promise to protect and improve the environment and making itself complicit with the ceaseless attack on this country’s biodiversity. It is shocking that our young people have to witness such shameless sacrifice of millions of creatures on the altar of wildly misplaced government policy which is recognised by its own Science and Technology Committee as fantasy. When will we have a regulatory system in the UK which is capable of demonstrating enough spine to put the environment above corporate greed and the arm lock of government policy? The Environment Agency should be ashamed of itself.’

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TASC thank you for your continued support.

Update 16

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

July 9, 2023

The Fight to Save Suffolk's Heritage Coast continues



Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) is pleased to announce that, after taking advice from our legal team, we have decided to appeal against the decision by Judge Holgate to reject our claim for a judicial review of the Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng's approval of the Sizewell C development consent order.

TASC is delighted to have the continued support of Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth in this further challenge to the plan for a nuclear White Elephant on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. Both Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal FOE , like so many other organisations and individuals in the area, have worked tirelessly to demonstrate the flaws in the government's unachievable nuclear ambitions and their continued support for TASC's legal challenge demonstrates a determination and unity of purpose among opposition groups which strengthens our collective resolve to see off Sizewell C and EDF's plans to disfigure and ruin this part of Suffolk.

Jenny Kirtley, TASC’s Chairperson, said ‘The rejection by Judge Holgate of all seven grounds in our judicial review claim must be challenged. Such dismissal does not match his remarks during the hearing when he suggested that the case warranted five days in court rather than the two allocated to it. We feel we owe it to ourselves, our legal team, the people of East Suffolk and all those who have supported us over the last few years to continue until every possible legal avenue has been examined. We have no intention of giving up.’

At the root of this case is government policy which is wedded to nuclear power and appears to be fixated by a legacy from Boris Johnson for an unachievable programme of eight Sizewell C sized developments by 2050. Sizewell C is seen by government as being on the front line in the fight against climate change when the real need is to avert an existential climate crisis with low-cost, quick to deploy alternatives to nuclear rather than trying to justify the 15-year lead time for eye-wateringly expensive nuclear plants to come online.

The proposed EDF development is still far from ‘shovel ready’ in that it requires many permits and licences before construction can begin, not to mention a Final Investment Decision to plug a huge funding gap for the project. Also, EDF still have no solution to the absence of a guaranteed potable water supply to meet its requirement for 2.2 million litres a day for 60 years in Suffolk, the driest of all UK counties. That fact alone should render the Sizewell C project redundant.

Sizewell C will degrade the local and regional environment and is likely to become a half-finished white elephant development languishing on an eroding coast being lapped by the rising tides caused by the climate change it is vainly supposed to prevent.

Read our solicitors, Leigh Day’s press release regarding TASC’s application for permission to appeal, here.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) Chair Jenny Kirtley added, "It is imperative we appeal Judge Holgate's perverse sanctioning of Sizewell C even though the proposed nuclear plant does not have a guaranteed mains water supply, without which it cannot operate. We also appeal his ruling on EDF’s incomprehensible claim that the Sizewell C site will be fully decommissioned by 2140. This date has been flatly contradicted by the Office of Nuclear Regulation, who told TASC it will take 70 years after the plant stops generating for spent fuel to cool sufficiently, be moved offsite and the store decommissioned [note 1]. The only way the 2140 deadline could be met at Sizewell C would be to slash its operating life by nearly 30 years, meaning generation stops in 2070, driving a coach and horses through this project's claimed commercial viability and contribution to meeting the UK’s climate change goals."

Note 1. TASC’s DCO submission REP8-285a ‘Deadline 8: Oral representations & comments regarding ISH 11 Flooding, Water & Coastal Processes’ reference Agenda item 3b) and Annex A. This is supported by the ‘generally expected’ 160 year full lifetime of a nuclear site set out in the Environment Agency and ONR’s joint advice note, ‘Principles for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency Joint Advice Note’ – see Appendix A on page 10. EDF’s own DCO documents show the project could not meet the 2140 deadline, see NNB GenCo /EDF’s DCO submission APP-192 para 7.7.92 and DCO submission APP-189 para 5.1.5



We are continuing to fundraise to meet the cost of pursuing legal action by way of appeal against the High Court’s decision to refuse our JR application, with the same goal - to stop the Sizewell C project. To meet our additional legal costs we have increased the crowdfunder target by £15,000 to £50,000. 

TASC are extremely grateful for all donations received so far but ask for all those who are able, to contribute to help meet our ongoing costs.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-suffolks-heritage-coast-w/

Update 15

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

June 22, 2023

TASC resolute after disappointing judicial review verdict

TASC is sorry to have to announce that the long-awaited Sizewell C judicial review decision went against us. Obviously, we are devastated by the news, but we assure our supporters that the verdict in no way signals the end of our efforts. Together with our lawyers, Leigh Day, we are examining all possible options open to us and, in one form or another, TASC's campaign will continue.

This decision enables EDF and the UK government to carry on with their plans to construct two EPR nuclear reactors, even though the Sizewell C project still has no guaranteed mains water supply for the 2.2 million litres needed daily to operate. In TASC’s opinion, the UK government’s determination to risk £billions of UK taxpayer funds to build EDF’s flawed EPR reactor design on Suffolk's eroding coast, without a guaranteed mains water supply required for its 60 years of operation in what is already a drought-prone area, is a travesty and will prove to be a financial and environmental disaster.

See TASC’s full press release below:-

 

TASC remain resolute in its determination to continue the fight against the monstrous Sizewell C development following the High Court’s decision to refuse TASC’s application to overturn the Secretary of State’s approval of the Sizewell C DCO.

 

TASC Chairperson, Jenny Kirtley, said ‘Naturally, TASC is disappointed, but this verdict does not signal the end of our efforts. Together with our lawyers we are examining all possible options open to us and can promise our supporters that in one form or another, this campaign will continue. The Suffolk Heritage Coast cannot be sacrificed for such an unnecessary and inappropriate development, and we will examine every avenue of opposition until all are exhausted’.

‘TASC are extremely grateful for the high level of support we have experienced over a sustained period of years from so many individuals and NGOs. Special thanks go to our legal team made up of Rowan Smith and Julia Erikson at Leigh Day and barristers David Wolfe KC (at Matrix chambers) and Dr Ashley Bowes and Ruchi Parekh (at Cornerstone chambers) all of whom have worked tirelessly to bring this challenge and who have constructed our case with care, skill and professionalism which will stand us in good stead for the next phase in our campaign.’

 

 Paul Collins, Chairman of Stop Sizewell C said "Despite this outcome, Sizewell C is still the wrong project in the wrong place. With investors already wary of Sizewell C's cost and risk, the government should cut its losses, focus on energy efficiency, renewables and storage, and make sure the protected habitats of East Suffolk are safe forever."

Rachel Fulcher from Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth said “Despite our disappointment, Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth will continue to support TASC wholeheartedly in deciding what the next steps should be.  Meanwhile we will continue to focus on saving what we can of East Suffolk's precious wildlife and our beautiful Heritage Coast.”

 

TASC’s solicitor, Rowan Smith from Leigh Day, said “Our client is clearly disappointed with the result. We are currently advising on an appeal.”


Update 14

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

May 7, 2023

News from TASC on the Sizewell C front as we await the JR decision

More news from TASC on the Sizewell C front as we await the court decision from the March Judicial Review (JR) hearing in the High Court

The 4th May East Suffolk Council (ESC) election results, particularly in the areas close to Sizewell, were clearly influenced by the constituents’ dissatisfaction with the way that East Suffolk Council have approached the Sizewell C (SZC) project. ESC has provided unbridled support for EDF’s SZC proposals leading to the situation where we have approval of a project that will inflict huge damage to east Suffolk’s precious environment, the way of life for residents and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As reported in the EADT, the residents of Aldeburgh and Leiston, the ward in which SZC would be built if it goes ahead, have elected all three seats available to Green party Councillors. Overall, within East Suffolk, the previously ruling Conservative party lost 24 seats (down from 39 to 15). Those benefitting were the Green party (up 11 seats to 16), Liberal Democrats (up 8 to 11) and Labour (up 5 to 12). The Greens and Liberal Democrats oppose Sizewell C, as do some of the local Labour Councillors and the one independent Councillor. With the Conservatives having lost their majority and therefore no longer in charge of the council, TASC are hopeful there will be significant changes in the way East Suffolk council operates. TASC look forward to a more open and transparent decision-making process that takes into account the views of the electorate.

The Sizewell C project remains unfunded with neither EDF nor its partner, the UK government, being willing to provide an up to date calculation of the anticipated costs. At a recent meeting with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), TASC were advised that the earliest a Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected is mid-2024. However, there is a growing chorus of would-be investors shunning the Sizewell C project, one being Aviva, whose chair George Culmer stated at their recent AGM “We are not involved in Sizewell C, nor likely to be involved in funding any nuclear facility. That remains the position." The lack of interest from potential investors leads TASC to believe that an FID may never happen.

Despite funding not being available to cover the full cost of the Sizewell C project, nor the ONR having issued a nuclear site licence, nor the result of the JR hearing being known, EDF and the UK government are continuing to plough ahead with their programme of tree felling, hedgerow removal and vegetation destruction (including reedbeds and wet woodland in the Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest) all under the guise of ‘preliminary works’ which, although provided for in the DCO, required ESC’s sanction to be carried out. The extent of the tree and hedging removal on the main development site is illustrated in diagram 100134 taken from ESC’s planning portal under reference DC/23/1189/DRR – it is not clear from the diagram, but TASC estimates that the total tree removal amounts to circa 200 acres, and 3-4 miles of hedging will be destroyed. All for a project that may never proceed.

TASC are continuing to fundraise to meet the cost of pursuing legal action to stop the Sizewell C project and are extremely grateful for donations received so far and for all those who continue to contribute.









Update 13

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

March 28, 2023

TASC's two days of legal argument in the High Court


Numerous members from TASC as well as representatives from supporting organisations Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and Stop Sizewell C attended the High Court in London last week to hear TASC’s Sizewell C judicial review hearing. Others watched the court proceedings that took place on 22nd and 23rd March via video link.

In advance of the hearing, TASC’s lawyers, Leigh Day, published a press release summarising the legal arguments. TASC are extremely grateful to our legal team who presented a comprehensive and robust case in court, setting out the reasons why we consider the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the Sizewell C project was unlawful.

At the end of the two day hearing, the judge, Mr Justice Holgate, advised that he would reserve judgement. This will enable him to consider the arguments before arriving at his decision, which is expected in a few weeks’ time.

The court hearing was widely reported, including:-

ITV Anglia

BBC News

The Independent

East Anglian Daily Times

TASC’s time in court has only been possible because of the kind generosity of our supporters including those who have donated via our Crowd Justice fundraiser, the proceeds of which get paid directly to Leigh Day. We have not quite reached our target to meet all of our anticipated legal costs, so any further contributions will be greatly appreciated.

TASC will keep you updated as events unfold.

Many thanks from all at TASC.

The eroded beach in front of the Sizewell C site - March 2023

Update 12

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

March 17, 2023

Details of the court hearing on 22nd - 23rd March 2023

TASC’s Judicial Review hearing 22nd-23rd March 2023

TASC would like to advise our supporters of the opportunities that they have to follow our judicial review hearing.

For those who wish to attend in person see details below:-

Venue: Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Court details from https://www.find-court-tribunal.service.gov.uk/courts/administrative-court

Proceedings usually start at 10.30am but it is recommended that you arrive at court by 9.45am, with end of day approx. 4.30pm 


The court proceedings will be available to view remotely

To request a link to the hearing, you will need to contact the Admin Court Listing Office directly and request a link to "the rolled up hearing listed before Mr Justice Holgate on 22-23 March 2023 for case reference CO/3147/2022". The email address is: [email protected].


Very importantly, please note the below:

  • It is a criminal offence to record (audio or video), take photographs of or publish any part of a court hearing.
  • You must ensure your microphone is muted – you will not be required to participate in the hearing so your microphone and video camera should be off at all times.
  • You must not externally forward the video-link to a remote Court hearing to any other person. Anyone else who wishes to receive a link must follow the process above.


Detailed instructions on how to join the remote hearing can be found by clicking on this link: Guidance re CVP hearings. If you have any problems connecting, you can call the court’s helpline on 0330 808 9405 (they are open for calls Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm) or let us know.


A massive thank you to all our supporters throughout the campaign. Our CrowdJustice fundraiser is still running to cover legal costs, please give what you can, we are extremely grateful. Be assured that every penny raised will go towards fighting Sizewell C and we will never give up until the bitter end.Thank You

Update 11

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

March 11, 2023

EDF CONTINUES ITS PROGRAMME OF ECO-VANDALISM

TASC calls on Secretary of State for Defra to intervene

Despite an EDF statement on 18th January, claiming that, “[Its] Advance [preparatory] works [for Sizewell C] are reversible in the unlikely event Sizewell C will not proceed to a Final Investment Decision and full construction”, TASC was shocked and disgusted to discover that EDF have reneged on that promise when,  in early March, EDF began to destroy wet woodland, a legally protected priority  ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ habitat, located in Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest. Despite EDF knowing full well that we are now entering the bird, bat and reptile breeding season, it has already begun felling woodland in Goose Hill, as part of its plan to clear over 40 hectares  – including the felling of some ancient trees - to make way for Sizewell C’s car park.

TASC’s Chair, Jenny Kirtley said “These actions create permanent and  irreversible environmental loss to East Suffolk’s Heritage Coastal biodiversity and is in direct contradiction of the government’s  ‘green agenda’.  Despite EDF’s claim, it is not possible to reverse such losses and represents further  eco-vandalism which goes hand-in-glove with the construction of a redundant and unnecessary nuclear plant which may never commence construction.  Sizewell C has yet to make a Final Investment Decision, does not have a site licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation, nor three outstanding environmental permits needed from the Environment Agency. Furthermore, the project’s DCO approval is subject to TASC’s judicial review proceedings scheduled to take place in the High Court on 22nd and 23rd March.  We have asked the Secretary of State for Defra and the MP for Suffolk Coastal to intervene and to stop the work at least until these uncertainties around Sizewell C’s various authorisations have been granted.’.

Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth coordinator Rachel Fulcher said “Wet woodland provides a very particular habitat for invertebrates and fungi, with some specialists not found at all in any other habitat. This is why it's so important. It's not just the loss of trees from the SSSI, which is bad enough, it's the loss of everything dependent upon them. This habitat has legal protection as a UK Priority habitat under section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 ”

 Paul Collins, Chair of Stop Sizewell C said “EDF’s communications with local communities leaves much to be desired. Why claim that works are reversible when they are clearly not? It only serves to strengthen the lack of trust. Now that at least one government official has a seat on the board of Sizewell C, we expect more intervention to ensure that Sizewell C Co. informs local communities well in advance of their actions on the ground, and that promises and pledges are adhered to. It is unacceptable that prior to a Final Investment Decision that irreversible actions are about to be taken.”


On 6th March the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust issued a joint statement on twitter that started "RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust are deeply disappointed that EDF has started clearing parts of the Sizewell Marshes SSSI immediately in advance of the bird nesting season & without any firm guarantee that the investment for the construction of the power station is in place..."  Their full statement can be read on twitter.

TASC note many observers consider that the earliest a Final Investment Decision for the Sizewell C project will possibly happen, if ever it does, would be in 2024. So this makes the premature decision to embark on this environmentally destructive work now, even more reckless. The financing of Sizewell C is very much dependant on the UK government forcing UK electricity billpayers to help fund the 13 to 17 year construction period before a single watt of electricity is ever produced and for consumers/taxpayers to assume some of the risk of cost overruns through the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) finance model. However, a recent article by Dr Jim Cuthbert raises concerns about the lack of adequate assessment of the RAB funding model for Sizewell C, adding more doubt about the viability of the entire project.

TASC are taking legal advice as well as contacting the statutory regulators and local authorities to clarify the situation. We have increased the stretch target for our fundraising to cover any increased costs. 

TASC thank everyone for their continued support.


Update 10

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Jan. 21, 2023

High Court set date for TASC's legal challenge to Sizewell C's DCO

TASC now have a date for the judicial review hearing and have issued the following press release that sets out the details:-                

TASC Deputy Chair Pete Wilkinson advised "TASC are delighted that we now have the date for our judicial review hearing in the High Court. A two-day hearing has been set for Wednesday 22nd  and Thursday 23rd March 2023 which will give our legal team the opportunity to present Together Against Sizewell C's full legal arguments. TASC remain shocked that the Secretary of State went against the considered and reasoned view of the independent Planning Inspectorate and granted development consent in a potentially legally flawed manner. We have real concerns that the environmental impacts of Sizewell C have not been properly assessed and we have every confidence in our legal team to bring this to the Court's attention                

“TASC has the support of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and Stop Sizewell C in this vitally important battle for the soul of the Heritage Coast. Like so many other individuals and organisations in the area, they have worked tirelessly to demonstrate the flaws in government's plans for more nuclear development on this fragile coast and their support for TASC's legal challenge demonstrates a determination and unity of purpose among opposition groups which strengthens our collective resolve to see off Sizewell C and EDF's plans to disfigure and ruin this part of Suffolk."                

Rachel Fulcher of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth commented "Our members remain appalled that  potential risks to Suffolk's wildlife and damage to their special habitats have not been taken into account, despite warnings from Natural England.                 

Paul Collins of Stop Sizewell C said "The right and proper conclusion to this legal challenge would be that the planning decision by former Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is found to be unlawful. But Sizewell C is also an intensely political project, and we are deeply concerned that the Suffolk Coast could start to be torn up before this concludes, or before a Final Investment Decision that may never be reached. We want assurances from EDF and the government, who now co-own the project, that this won't happen. Communities are owed that peace of mind after all we have already been put through."          

Pete Wilkinson added "TASC are extremely grateful to all those who have supported our campaign, especially during what are proving to be difficult times for so many."

End of press release

Now TASC have a court date, we need additional funds to finance the legal team's costs for the JR hearing. We are pleased to confirm that we have received generous financial support from individuals and organisations outside of this Crowd funder. As a result we have been able to reduce our Crowd Justice stretch target from £60,000 to £34,000. Essentially TASC require a further £10,000 to meet all of our costs. If you are able, please contribute what you can to enable us to see this campaign to its ultimate conclusion.

Update 9

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Dec. 13, 2022

Postponement of court hearing scheduled for 14th December

The oral renewal hearing to consider TASC’s judicial review application, scheduled for 14th December in the High Court in London, has been postponed due to the judge's ill-health. We are waiting to hear from the court about the new date and we will update you once we know.

As always, TASC are extremely grateful for your continued support especially during, what are proving to be difficult times for many.





Update 8

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Dec. 7, 2022

Comment on recent government announcements re Sizewell C

As you will probably be aware, Grant Shapps, the latest Business Secretary, recently visited Sizewell to mark the signing of contracts with EDF for £679 million of government investment in the Sizewell C development, which confirmed the announcement made in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The UK government and EDF are now in a 50:50 partnership in the Sizewell C development, a white elephant financial sink hole on Suffolk's eroding coast. This step means the UK government and EDF will jointly own the project (for now) and will collectively pursue a Final Investment Decision - still 12 to 18 months away – which means they need to find investors willing to stump up the remaining 60% of the total construction costs, which according to the government’s own figures could be anything between £26 billion and £43 billion. This would result in the UK being required to commit between £5 billion and £8.5 billion of public money to make good its 20% share. The government, having actively pursued Chinese Investment in the UK are now using UK taxpayers’ funds to eject EDF's controversial partner China General Nuclear from the project and have the audacity to try and spin this as a positive move rather than admit it was bad decision making in the first instance.

Grant Shapp’s visit follows Boris Johnson and Kwasi Kwarteng's shameful precedent of purposefully avoiding any discussion or interaction with those directly affected by the proposed Sizewell nuclear development. Both Johnson and Kwarteng visited just days before they were ousted from their jobs, perhaps a menacing omen for Shapps.

Together Against Sizewell C said:There is nothing new in terms of funding – this announcement still doesn’t go beyond the £700m already promised, followed by a lot of sticking plasters to protect the government from the criticism of doing nothing for years to drive down electricity on the demand side. A pathetic response from a delusional government that is long past its sell-by date.

‘The government’s own risk assessment forecasts that Sizewell C may cost up to £43 billion – yet another example of this government’s willingness to squander £billions of public money on a project that may never operate as it still requires the resolution of EDF’s inability to secure a permanent and reliable supply of a potable water.

‘To say Sizewell C will provide energy independence and security is laughable – a French flawed design, which is likely to never operate at full capacity, French developers, overseas finance and fuelled by uranium sourced from overseas.

‘The entire plan is a mess of disinformation, incomplete data and represents an investment that no-one in their right mind will touch with a bargepole. Except, that is, a delusional, nuclear-obsessed government which is liberal with the use of public money to pretend that its energy policy will allow us to meet climate change targets. It won’t. This makes TASC’s application for a judicial review of the approval of the Sizewell C development consent order carry even greater importance.’

TASC’s press release was reported by the BBC Online and the Big Issue.

Since the last update, TASC have been busy addressing the matter of EDF’s applications to have 2 existing agricultural water abstraction licences transferred so that EDF can use the water on the Sizewell C construction site for industrial purposes. More details are available in TASC’s submission to the Environment Agency. We are also still actively engaging with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the Dept for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Environment Agency on Sizewell C and nuclear matters generally.

However, TASC’s main focus at this moment in time is working with our lawyers, Leigh Day, in preparation for the ‘renewal’ hearing for our judicial review claim to be heard in the High Court in London on 14th December. We are hoping for a positive outcome and will update you once the result of that hearing is known.

As always, many thanks for your continued support.

Update 7

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Nov. 19, 2022

TASC have a court date!

TASC are pleased to advise that we now have a date for the oral renewal hearing of our application for a judicial review of the government’s decision to approve the Sizewell C development. A different judge to the one that carried out the initial review of our JR claim will consider TASC’s arguments on Wednesday 14th December in the High Court in London. We will keep you updated as matters progress.

Since out last update the Sizewell C project has remained a subject of political consideration. On Jeremy Hunt’s appointment as Chancellor, TASC, along with many others, wrote to advise the new Chancellor that cancelling government support for Sizewell C was a quick way to save money. However, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement repeated the commitment made by Boris Johnson a few days before he left office, to a £700 million investment in the Sizewell C project – no mention of the ongoing cost to the UK if the government make the 50% investment that EDF are expecting them to take – a project that government department, BEIS, say could cost up to £43 billion! Please see TASC’s response to the Autumn Statement, TASC’s response on twitter and TASC’s press release that was reported by the BBC.

“Chancellor Hunt says, ‘As Conservatives we do not leave our debts to the next generation’. In reality, Sizewell C will leave ever-increasing debts to many generations as they have to deal with legacy waste amid rising temperatures, sea levels and Black Swan[1] events'."

TASC believe that the Labour Party’s support for Sizewell C does not stand up to any logical scrutiny and seems to be heavily influenced by trades union pressure, even though investment in renewables, alternatives and demand reduction, such as retrofitting insulation in the UK’s buildings, would create tens of thousands of permanent jobs rather than relatively few long-term employment opportunities in nuclear. TASC has written to Kier Starmer advising, 

“…The advantages of adopting a policy which preferences a non-nuclear future are legion. Without even addressing the political wins such a policy would bring, please consider the practical, monetary and societal advantages…”

While TASC are disappointed with the government’s continued support for Sizewell C, we are resolute in taking all legal actions available to stop Sizewell C. As well as the judicial review, TASC are keeping a careful watch on the performance of the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation, both of which agencies are yet to issue environmental permits, site and construction licences the project needs before building can commence. The government will also need to make a Final Investment Decision based on a ‘Value for Money Assessment’, a process that is expected by EDF to take another 12 – 18 months and which will provide further opportunity for scrutiny.

TASC are extremely grateful for your continued support.

 

[1] A Black Swan event is characterised by being unforeseen, extremely rare but of severe impact

 


   


 


   


Update 6

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Oct. 28, 2022

TASC's legal battle for a judicial review continues

TASC's lawyers have applied for an oral hearing of our legal arguments which means that our application for a judicial review of the Sizewell C DCO decision will be considered by a High Court judge in the next few weeks. The court's initial refusal of a hearing for our judicial review claim following a judge's desktop review comes as no surprise as it seems par for the course with most environmentally based legal claims being denied at the first hurdle. TASC have discussed the matter with our legal team and our opinion is that the judge who carried out the review did not properly engage with the arguments. TASC believe we have a strong case and, accordingly, we have used our procedural right to ask for our judicial review claim to be redetermined at an oral hearing in front of a different judge. TASC are grateful to our lawyers, Leigh Day, and the brilliant legal team they have assembled, and, with the support of local NGOs Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth and Stop Sizewell C, we will be using all legal means available to fight the environmentally damaging Sizewell C white elephant.


TASC’s Chairman, Pete Wilkinson, response to the news:

"This decision is a predictable and wholly unreasonable response given the culture that our hopelessly inept government has created through its policy of attacking nature which its sees as an impediment to economic development. There is a presumption today that judicial reviews should be summarily dismissed rather than being used as a forum in which democracy can be seen to be done when there are legitimate grounds, as in the case of Sizewell C, to indicate that an important decision has been wrongly made. 

"But our resolve is only strengthened by this minor setback. It has made us more determined than ever to use the High Court procedure to seek an oral hearing of our case which we believe is strong and comprehensive: the site is potentially unstable, vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, there is no potable water supply for the development; the cumulative environmental impact will be intolerable, devastating and permanent, flying directly in the face of the government's 25 year environmental policy, the Environment Act and any transparent attempts to build a 'greener economy."

Rachel Fulcher, Coordinator of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth, says

 "We are wholeheartedly behind TASC's determination to seek an oral hearing in their application for a Judicial Review. Once again, important environmental issues have been side-lined and the advice of both Natural England and the Planning Inspectorate rejected, leaving precious habitats and rare species exposed to risk. This is in contravention of the Habitats Directive. We cannot allow the Secretary of State, nor EDF, to get away with this."


Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C said:

"With the UK's parlous financial position and the Chancellor's warning that 'eye-wateringly difficult' decisions will need to be made to save money, here is an easy one - cancel Sizewell C. Renewables and energy efficiency will help us achieve energy security far more cheaply and quickly, and create many thousands of genuinely green jobs in the process."

Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith said:

“We are proud to represent TASC in the local community’s continued fight to help protect Suffolk’s heritage coast and wildlife sites. Our client is understandably shocked that the Secretary of State has gone against the considered and reasoned view of the independent Planning Inspectorate and granted development consent in a potentially legally flawed manner. TASC has very real concerns that the environmental impacts of Sizewell C have not been properly assessed. We intend to do all we can to bring this to the Court’s attention.”

Pete Wilkinson added:

‘"EDF, the government and all those slavishly supporting nuclear power should take note: we will stop Sizewell C, come what may. With our excellent legal team, we will prevail. We thank all who have supported TASC so far and call on those who are able to redouble their efforts to support us and help us raise the necessary funds to defend our coast from the ravages of EDF and its monstrous plans.'"

Update 5

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Oct. 21, 2022

More news on the Sizewell C front

In early September our update confirmed that TASC had submitted a Judicial Review claim in the High Court. We had expected that the RSPB would be similarly challenging the Secretary of State (Kwasi Kwarteng)’s woeful decision to give consent to Sizewell C but, unfortunately, they submitted their claim one day late so had to withdraw their application. In a statement published in the East Anglian Daily Times the RSPB said, "We are obviously devastated, and we can only apologise to those who have supported us throughout the whole process." This leaves TASC to believe we are the only ones challenging the government’s approval of this environmentally damaging project through the courts, making our campaign even more important than ever. We are encouraged by the RSPB who said of TASC’s judicial review application, "They [TASC] will have a strong case with similar areas of concern to the RSPB. We wish them every success."

A further development, as reported in The Times, was the decision on 2nd September 2022 by the Secretary of State for DEFRA in the case concerning EDF’s attempt to renege on its agreement to fit Acoustic Fish Deterrents (AFD) to the cooling water system at Hinkley Point C (HPC). The AFDs are required to reduce the huge number of fish sucked into the intake tunnels leading to their untimely death. There was a lengthy inquiry from 8th to 24th June 2021, that heard very detailed evidence leading to the planning inspector making a confidential recommendation to the Secretary of State DEFRA on 7th December 2021, that EDF’s appeal should be refused. TASC are pleased to say that the recommendation was upheld by the Secretary of State for DEFRA in his decision published nearly ten months later. This decision is important for a number of reasons, not least being the upholding of the original aim to reduce the death toll from the  hundreds of millions of fish and fish larvae that will get sucked into HPC’s cooling water system each and every year of its 60-year operation. It is also important as the cooling water system at Sizewell C, whilst similar to that at HPC, with similar consequences (see TASC report ‘Ecological impact of Sizewell C on Marine Life’ by marine ecologist Dr P. Henderson), was proposed and granted DCO approval without AFDs.

The HPC decision, should have created a precedent for Sizewell and, as TASC requested during the DCO examination, should have been taken into account in the Sizewell C DCO decision. The HPC decision was announced two days after the expiry of the 6-week period allowed for submitting grounds for a judicial review against the Sizewell C decision - all rather convenient for the government in TASC’s opinion!

All is not lost, however, as along with other permits, the Environment Agency, while currently minded to approve, still have to formally decide whether to grant a Water Discharge Activity (WDA) permit for Sizewell C. The WDA sets parameters for the amount of environmentally damaging discharges that the cooling water system can inflict on the marine environment. The Environment agency have recently consulted on the WDA permit and TASC have submitted a strong case saying that the decisions made at HPC regarding the AFD and supporting analysis, should be used to refuse the permit on the basis that EDF are not proposing to use ‘Best Available Techniques’ at Sizewell i.e. they are not planning to fit AFDs. TASC’s representations point out that the impact of dead and moribund fish being discharged into Sizewell Bay can only be minimised by reducing the fish sucked into the intake tunnels.  As with HPC, Sizewell C’s cooling water system will kill hundreds of millions of fish a year for its 60 years of operation. TASC are relying on our environmental regulator to refuse to issue a WDA permit for Sizewell C unless AFDs are fitted, in order to meet their stated remit to “to protect people and the environment”.

TASC’s previous update referred to the visit Boris Johnson made to Sizewell in his last days as Prime Minister with his wish to make a major announcement regarding Sizewell C. As was reported later, his announcement was a damp squib due to the French government not being willing to sign up to the deal proposed. Since then, the UK government have said that they are still in talks with France about Sizewell C. However, there are still many unanswered questions: Who will replace Liz Truss?  How much will Sizewell C actually cost to build? (EDF’s £20bn estimate was over 2 years ago but BEIS’s impact assessment projected costs as being between £26bn - £43bn). At a time of rising government debt, will the UK government want to risk £6bn+[based on taking a 20% interest in a project costing, say, £30bn] on an investment into a project that is driven by political ideology rather than necessity? Will the government risk putting a nuclear tax onto electricity consumers bills when those consumers will see nothing for their money for 10-15 years, if at all? Will the UK government place a £6bn+ bet on an EPR design that may have design flaws, as exposed by the shutdown of Taishan 1 for over a year and the difficulties in building EPR reactors, as demonstrated by Olkiluoto, Flamanville and HPC with their huge cost and time overruns? Will EDF (soon to be 100% nationalised by France) be able to afford a risky £6bn+ investment into an EPR design that the French have already said that they will not build any more of in France? Will investors, for the remaining 60% of the project not funded by the UK government and EDF, be found when any investor who has bona fide ESG investment guidelines will not be able to justify such an environmentally damaging and societally destructive project?

TASC would like to mention recent events in UK politics which have led to the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor for his incompetence which has been exposed by his ideological pursuit of political dogma with a total disregard to the real world and to the cost to the public purse. Kwarteng’s actions as Chancellor have parallels with his reckless approval of Sizewell C, going against the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate, a project that could be built but never be able to operate as it doesn’t have a guaranteed supply of potable water, a project borne out of political goals rather than real need, a project recklessly exposing the public purse to the inevitable cost and time overruns that are associated with such risky schemes.

TASC consider the Sizewell C project to be an ‘attack on nature’ and we draw attention to the numerous wildlife charities and NGOs who are currently campaigning to keep those laws that are in place in an attempt to protect our designated wildlife sites – see RSPB’s view on the Attack on Nature   

As TASC’s legal claim progresses through the courts, we still need additional funds to meet the costs of our fantastically supportive legal team. So, TASC would be grateful for any further donations you may be kind enough to make and be pleased if our Crowdfunder could be shared with as many as possible. Our warm wishes to all who have supported our cause to date and to those who are able to help going forward.

As mentioned in TASC’s recent press release, just a couple of miles from the Sizewell C site is an illustration of the fragility of the Suffolk coast…

2016 Thorpeness cliff behind The Red House and its garden buildings with sea defences still partially covered with vegetation

October 2022 after the loss of the garden buildings and sea defences

The Red House, Thorpeness ready for demolition due to coastal erosion October 2022


‘And who would run, that’s moderately wise,

a certain danger for a doubtful prize?’

Rev John Pomfret (1667-1702)


Update 4

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Sept. 4, 2022

TASC submit Judicial Review application to the High Court

TASC are pleased to advise that on 30th August our lawyers, Leigh Day, issued judicial review (JR) proceedings in the High Court in respect of the government's approval of the Sizewell C Development Consent Order application, despite the Planning Inspectorate's recommendation for refusal. This was a result of Leigh Day's and our 3 barristers' intensive review of the government's decision documents, the recommendation report by the Planning Inspectorate and assisted by input from TASC and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth. The JR application now includes 7 Grounds to justify the proceedings and more details can be found in Leigh Day's press release.

TASC are grateful for all the support that we have received to date. This has enabled us to meet the £20,000 interim crowdfunding target to cover our initial legal costs. However, we still require further financial support as we are approaching another period of intense legal activity. By the end of the third week in September TASC will have received the government and the developer's responses to our court application. Following a review by our legal team we then have two weeks to submit any TASC response deemed necessary, to the court. Consequently we need to increase our cumulative fundraising target to £30,000 by 7th October.

TASC would be extremely grateful if you could contribute to our target if you are able, and share the link to our crowdfunder with family, friends and contacts.

The announcement of TASC's legal challenge to the Sizewell C development coincided with the prime minister's visit to Sizewell in which he attempted to demonstrate government support for Sizewell C. However, all he did was announce a potential £700 million government investment into Sizewell C which was not new money but part of the £1.7 billion announced in the  Autumn 2021 spending review. Boris Johnson's visit was covered in various media outlets including the Independent, the Daily Express and East Anglian Daily Times.

Despite the secrecy surrounding the prime minister's visit to Sizewell, a crowd of at least 100 protesters, organised at very short notice by Stop Sizewell C, were there to boo and jeer his arrival. Boris Johnson dismissed the protesters as 'nimbys' seemingly unaware of their concerns regarding: EDF's flawed EPR reactor design; EDF's financial problems & the woeful state of the French nuclear fleet; the hundreds of millions of fish that the cooling water system will kill annually for 60 years; the legacy radioactive waste dumped on future generations; concerns relating to the environmental devastation Sizewell C will inflict on the AONB, SSSI, RSPB Minsmere, other designated sites & species; the impact of thousands of vehicle journeys on rural roads; ignoring PINS recommendation for refusal regarding there being no mains water supply essential for operation of Sizewell C; etc etc.

    



Update 3

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

Aug. 9, 2022

Start of the Sizewell C Judicial Review Process

TASC are pleased to advise that our lawyers, Leigh Day, have identified several issues that are potential grounds for a Judicial review (JR) application in respect of the Secretary of State’s decision  to approve the Sizewell C DCO application. As a first step in the JR process, a pre-action letter has been sent to Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng. Further details are set out in Leigh Day’s press release.

Leigh Day’s press release was covered in the Guardian on 8th August.

TASC need to urgently raise funds to meet the costs for pursuing the legal case. We have achieved our initial fundraising target but now need to meet the costs of preparation of TASC’s detailed legal arguments that have to be submitted by 31st August. As a consequence, we need to have raised a minimum of £20,000 by the end of August, with any excess over and above that going towards the potential court hearing. Please do give what you can and share our Crowd Justice page with your family, friends and contacts.

Thank you from all at TASC

Update 2

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

July 20, 2022

Govt ignore planning inspectorate recommendation to refuse DCO

TASC are bitterly disappointed, but not totally surprised, that the government has decided to approve the development consent order (DCO) for EDF's Sizewell C, ignoring the planning inspectorate's recommendation against approval. This is despite the avalanche of information submitted from opponents during the 18-month period of the DCO examination, presenting detailed and overwhelming evidence why Sizewell is an entirely inappropriate site and why eye-wateringly expensive and slow-to-deploy nuclear power is not required for meeting our electricity generating or climate change targets.  It seems that even in the midst of a selection process for a replacement for nuclear-fixated Boris Johnson, the attraction of nuclear power continues to mesmerise politicians.

But the fight is not over. In fact, it is just beginning. Sizewell still has to be granted many authorisations, discharge permits and licences before it can be built and begin the long, slow and tortuous path to operational status, should its technical problems be overcome. Another major hurdle is finding investors willing to ignore its tainted environmental credentials due to the impact arising from damage to Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, the Heritage Coast and Sizewell Marshes SSSI, not to mention the concerns expressed by the RSPB regarding the impact on their internationally famous Minsmere nature reserve, as well as the hundreds of millions of fish and fish fry that will be killed by Sizewell C's cooling water system each and every year for its 60 years of operation.

The project also faces significant legal challenges.  Together Against Sizewell C is actively consulting its lawyers, Leigh Day, on aspects of the approval decision to identify issues on which the law has been transgressed and where identified, we aim to have these tested in the courts by way of judicial review.  TASC are delighted to say that Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth has agreed to support us with our campaign in whatever capacity it can. FoE co-ordinator, Rachel Fulcher, told us, 'We look forward to a productive association with TASC on this matter.' TASC anticipate collaborating with other groups, working with our respective legal teams to spread the net of potential challenges as wide as possible. This approach increases our chances of being able to appeal the decision, and our co-ordination will require the opposition to face a wider spread of arguments against their plans and demonstrate that those opposed to this ridiculous development are organised, determined and resolute.

TASC launched this appeal for funds a few days ago in order to cover the initial legal costs of investigating a potential claim for judicial review. The deadline for any such claim is 6 weeks from today (20th July 2022), so we are urging supporters to donate as generously and as quickly as they can.

TASC (formerly Communities Against Nuclear Expansion) has been fighting against further nuclear development at Sizewell for more than a decade. We are committed to winning.  Sizewell C is far from a done deal.  If we can stop Sizewell C, we can bring the government's ludicrous fantasy of a 24Gw new nuclear 'energy security' policy to an end and point it at a 100% renewables future, free from the fears of nuclear radiation, nuclear waste and nuclear contamination.  Please join us and help us reach the first Crowd Justice target of £5,000 and then the £50,000 that we will ultimately need if the case goes to court.

Details of the decision by the government and the recommendation from the planning inspectorate can be found on the planning inspectorate's website at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell-c-project/?ipcsection=docs

Thank you for your continued support.

Pete Wilkinson, Chairperson

Update 1

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

July 9, 2022

DCO decision day deferred to 20th July

Amidst the turmoil of recent events in Parliament, on the afternoon of 7th July, the day before the Sizewell C DCO decision was due, Paul Scully MP,  the BEIS minister who had been given the responsibility for the Sizewell C DCO decision, announced that the deadline for the decision was being put back to 20th July. Later that evening Paul Scully was moved out of BEIS to the Dept. for Levelling Up!

TASC have written to BEIS to find out who now has the responsibility for this matter and await an answer. The Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng, had previously removed himself from the decision due to his involvement in the Sizewell C financial negotiations with EDF. Bearing this in mind, Paul Scully's announcement was puzzling: "I have decided to set a new deadline of no later than 20 July 2022 for deciding this application. This is to ensure there is sufficient time to allow the Secretary of State to consider the proposal." 

TASC echo the comments of the RSPB who stated: “A delay of two weeks to the decision on whether to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell makes little sense considering the current political turmoil. Committing future Governments to spending billions of pounds of taxpayer's money on a potentially hugely damaging project like Sizewell C is not a decision that a caretaker government should even consider let alone make. Pushing through something as contentious as Sizewell C, with no reference to wider energy and nature policy strategies is frankly ludicrous.” 

While it would make perfect sense for a Sizewell C decision to be deferred until a new government is formed, our government's intentions cannot be predicted with any certainty so we can only wait and see. Meanwhile, the nuclear lobbyists and vested interests are still pushing heavily to get Sizewell C approved. Reports in the media imply Sizewell C is a 'done deal' but there is still much to fight for and still so many valid reasons why this project should not go ahead. TASC were pleased to see that Lord Deben, Chair of the government's Climate Change Committee, raised concerns about EDF's competence to complete nuclear projects and described the Sizewell C plans as 'ridiculous'. 

Another development this week is the French government's decision to fully nationalise EDF. This leaves us with the crazy situation where the UK government plans to increase UK householder's bills by putting a nuclear tax on UK electricity bills to help EDF fund the building of Sizewell C, providing income to the French state to enable France to subsidise cheaper electricity bills in France!

TASC remain committed to stopping the Sizewell C madness and urgently need your help to reach our target. Please donate whatever you can and share with your family and friends. Thank you for your support.   

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