Chris Packham warns of environmental ‘catastrophe’ over nuclear power station plan on nature reserve

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BBC Birdwatch presenter Chris Packham warns of environmental ‘disaster’ if plans for brand spanking new nuclear energy station on wetland nature reserve go forward

  • Chris Packham and campaigners warn towards nuclear plant on nature reserve
  • French vitality agency EDF needs to construct Sizewell C with two extra large reactors
  • The agency final 12 months axed plan to construct a jetty to herald supplies for web site by sea 

By David Rose for The Mail on Sunday

Printed: 21:05 EDT, 31 August 2019 | Up to date: 21:05 EDT, 31 August 2019

It is a wetland nature reserve of such magnificence and significance that it turned house to the BBC’s in style Springwatch sequence for 3 years.

However campaigners concern that Minsmere, a 2,500-acre Royal Society for the Safety of Birds web site on the Suffolk coast, faces disaster beneath plans put ahead by French vitality agency EDF to construct a brand new nuclear energy station.

The positioning, which attracts quite a few species of uncommon birds together with marsh harriers, lies near an current nuclear energy station, Sizewell B – however EDF now needs to construct Sizewell C, which includes two extra large reactors.

Opposition, led by naturalist and Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, pictured above, is rising with greater than 20,000 RSPB supporters sending emails to EDF urging it to suppose once more

Locals say years of discussions between the agency, environmentalists and native residents had been constructive till EDF this 12 months scrapped its plan to construct a particular half-mile-long jetty so a lot of the thousands and thousands of tons of supplies wanted to construct the ability crops could possibly be delivered by sea. 

As a substitute, the agency is now suggesting three alternative routes to herald supplies by street and rail.

Campaigners say every would contain an enormous improve in site visitors and will contain as much as 1,150 38-ton lorry actions out and in of the Sizewell web site on daily basis, which might disturb the fragile ecosystem that enables wildlife to thrive.

The disruption would final for a minimum of a decade and require new village bypasses. 

The positioning, which attracts quite a few species of uncommon birds together with marsh harriers, lies near an current nuclear energy station, Sizewell B – however EDF now needs to construct Sizewell C, which includes two extra large reactors. Sizewell A and B are pictured above

Even beneath the vitality agency’s ‘rail-led’ possibility, 700 truck actions could be wanted each day, and it could require intensive upgrades to the eight-mile rail monitor between Sizewell and the principle line.

Different facets of the scheme may additionally be damaging to wildlife, say opponents of the plans, such because the digging of three 120ft-deep ‘borrow pits’ for spoil, masking about 50 acres every, on what’s now idyllic countryside. 

Opposition, led by naturalist and Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, is rising with greater than 20,000 RSPB supporters sending emails to EDF urging it to suppose once more. 

In a video for the RSPB’s Love Minsmere marketing campaign, Mr Packham describes the location as ‘one of the UK’s main wildlife hotspots’.

RSPB skilled Adam Bailey stated Minsmere, which will depend on a fragile stability of drainage and water provide, had helped convey the avocet, the chook featured on the RSPB’s emblem, again to UK shores.

‘There was no confirmed avocet sighting for 100 years until they returned to Minsmere in 1947. Now, we have about 90 breeding pairs,’ he stated.

Campaigners say every would contain an enormous improve in site visitors and will contain as much as 1,150 38-ton lorry actions out and in of the Sizewell web site on daily basis, which might disturb the fragile ecosystem that enables wildlife to thrive. Staff in Sizewell B are pictured above

A seven-year session will finish later this month earlier than the Planning Inspectorate holds public hearings and submits a report. 

Beneath the streamlined nationwide infrastructure planning course of, a last resolution might be made by Andrea Leadsom, the Enterprise and Vitality Secretary.

An EDF spokeswoman stated ‘environmental sensitivities’ had been a ‘key consideration’ of the £20 billion scheme and that it was holding ‘regular workshops’ with native and nationwide our bodies to ‘look closely at how to minimise the impact of building Sizewell C’.

She added: ‘Sizewell’s C’s dependable, low-carbon electrical energy is required to assist the UK deal with local weather change and minimize its dependency on polluting fossil fuels. 

The challenge is working with the local people to mitigate the affect of building and maximise the advantages.’

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