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New group formed to fight N-plant bid

PUBLISHED: 14:14 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:38 05 July 2010

OPPONENTS of controversial plans to build a third nuclear power plant in Suffolk have created a new protest group to ensure their concerns are heard.

The Government signalled the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations - with Sizewell earmarked as a potential site.

OPPONENTS of controversial plans to build a third nuclear power plant in Suffolk have created a new protest group to ensure their concerns are heard.

The Government signalled the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations - with Sizewell earmarked as a potential site.

Now residents living in and around the area have set up Communities Against Nuclear Expansion (CANE).

The group is strongly opposed to any suggestion that a third power plant - Sizewell C - would be built alongside the decommissioned Sizewell A and the live reactor Sizewell B.

They believe it could lead to a workforce of 8,000 personnel being on the site - putting huge strain on the area's infrastructure, an increased threat from a terrorist attack and a rise in the amount of traffic that is passing through the surrounding villages.

They also claim any development will spoil an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the RSPB Minsmere reserve, have raised concerns about coastal erosion at Sizewell, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh and have expressed fears tourism will be negatively affected.

Mike Taylor, who lives in nearby Leiston and is spokesman for the group, said it was vital local communities had a proper voice to ensure a challenge at every stage of the planning process.

“Members of CANE believe that with the UK taxpayer facing a potential spend of at least £73billion or more in order to dismantle the existing nuclear legacy, it would be madness to increase this liability for future generations,” the former district and town councillor said.

“They also do not believe that nuclear power offers long term security of supply or that it is the best method of reducing CO2 levels.

“We believe there are many other means for reducing CO2 faster and of greater benefit to communities and individuals without leaving a hazardous and lethal waste for future generations to sort out.

“Clear and decisive action is needed now, not the dangerous distraction of a new nuclear build programme, which could not even start to deliver before probably 2020.”

CANE is planning a public meeting for September during which the case against nuclear power will be set out, outlining local and national concerns.

A spokesman for British Energy said: “Everybody is entitled to their opinion. However the Government has said nuclear power is part of the UK energy policy.

“Any plans specifically for a new build at Sizewell will go through a round of public engagement meetings to get peoples' views - so the local community will have an opportunity to be heard.”

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