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Campaigners against Sizewell C call for nuclear review

PUBLISHED: 14:00 07 November 2015

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

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A Suffolk group fighting Sizewell C is urging a government minister to review the inclusion of nuclear power in national energy policy in the light of current research and data.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) said the government has an “increasingly bizarre and incomprehensible obsession with nuclear power”. It has twice delivered a document analysing the case for nuclear power to secretary of state for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd, in the past two months but has yet to receive a reply.

Last month a deal was announced between EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), after the companies signed an agreement in principle to develop the £14billion Sizewell C twin reactor - with CGN having a 20 per cent stake in the development phase.

This should trigger the next phase in the public consultation.

TASC, though, claims that the government is still working on a national policy for energy drawn up in 2005, and which does not take account of a decade of research and has a legal obligation to review the policy.

The group says the inclusion of nuclear power cannot be justified and will “risk the lights going out”, waste billions of pounds, will be less effective in meeting energy policy objectives than a more ‘demand-side-led’ strategy, and leaves the urgent need for new electricity supplies that the government claims are necessary unmet.

Pete Wilkinson, chairman of TASC, said: “The government has a legal obligation to justify its increasingly bizarre and incomprehensible obsession with nuclear power, which is undeniably a costly and environmentally damaging option which we can do without, as our document and as Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) own data demonstrate.”

The group wants to see a “sustainable, equitable, affordable and environmentally benign energy programme” and says it will take legal action against the government if a review is not carried out.

No-one was available to comment from the DECC.

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