UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities are backing the people and communities of Suffolk in their march and rally next Sunday (15 May) against the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant.
In a message of solidarity sent to the organisers at local campaign groups Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C, the Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee Councillor David Blackburn confirms that the NFLA ‘will be proud to continue to stand with you’ in the fight to oppose the unwanted reactor and urges local people to keep up the fight as ‘you have right on your side and history shows that right shall always prevail’.
The NFLA has opposed the Sizewell C development from the start, and has recently objected to the belated planning application from EDF for further testing of ground conditions at the proposed site; written to the pension fund Aviva urging them not to invest in the project; and made a formal complaint to the Civil Service about the misconduct of the Secretary of State for Energy in prematurely signalling the government’s support for Sizewell C despite his own department having not yet given formal planning approval for this project to proceed. The formal announcement of this decision is expected on 25 May.
Councillor Blackburn said: “Boris Johnson and Kwasi Kwarteng may have said they want Sizewell C, but this does not mean that the people of Suffolk have to have it. Even if ministers do give the go-ahead the outcome is still most uncertain, and this is going to be a long and a hard fight. If the people of Suffolk and local anti-nuclear campaigners can continue to stand firm in their resolve to oppose Sizewell C there is every chance it will fail.
“Nuclear power is not the answer to Britain’s energy crisis nor to the climate emergency – it is way too expensive, would come at least twenty years too late, is always accompanied with operational risk, and leaves a toxic legacy of radioactive waste for countless generations to deal with.
“We would urge everyone who can from across the county and beyond to join the march and rally on Sunday 15 May and show once more that Suffolk says No to Nuclear. Although the NFLA cannot be represented in person, we will absolutely be with you in spirit”.
The march will be held on Sunday 15 May. Marchers are asked to gather at 9.30am at the Victory Road Recreation Ground in Leiston; the march will move off at 10am. The rally will take place on Sizewell beach from 11.15 for about an hour. Speakers include Adrian Ramsay, Co-Leader of the Green Party in England and Wales, Cllr Louise Gooch, Labour Party Environment Spokesperson on East Suffolk Council, Pete Wilkinson of TASC and Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C. Coaches will bring people back to Leiston afterwards.
Full details, maps and information on free parking can be found at: https://stopsizewellc.org/march/
For more information, please contact NFLA Secretary Richard Outram by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 07583097793
Note to Editors
The Solidarity Message reads:
To Alison Downes, Stop Sizewell C
Pete Wilkinson, Together against Sizewell C
And the Many People and Communities fighting against Sizewell C Monday 9 May 2022
A Solidarity Message from the Nuclear Free Local Authorities
As Chair of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, on behalf of all of our member organisations and supporters, I send you this message of solidarity to let you know that the NFLA stands with you in opposing the ecological disaster and the financial madness that is represented by the proposed Sizewell C development. Although we are unable to be with you today in person, please be assured that we are absolutely with you in spirit.
The NFLA has opposed Sizewell C from the start. Most recently we have objected to the EDF planning application and we have formally protested to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about the Secretary of State’s prejudicial misconduct in publicly backing the project before official permission to proceed from his department has even been given!
We believe that the present government’s renewed obsession with new civil nuclear power projects represents a complete folly. Nuclear power is simply be too expensive, too dependent on unproven and unsafe technologies, and will come far too late to address our current cost-of-living crisis, where many of our poorest citizens face the prospect of going cold and hungry, or the oncoming ‘tsunami’ of climate change, with the extreme weather events that will bring.
With nuclear comes the risk of accidents, the costly toxic legacy of nuclear waste, and the chance a power plant might become a target for terrorists or, as we have seen in Ukraine, an enemy in a time of war! And nuclear also represents energy insecurity as it depends upon foreign uranium, foreign reactor designs, foreign construction partners, foreign operators, and foreign finance.
Instead the NFLA believes that Britain’s future energy needs must be met through a massive investment in home insulation, to reduce energy demand, reduce energy bills and make our homes warmer and greener, and a massive investment in a mix of renewable technologies, tidal, hydro, wind and solar, and energy storage solutions which can meet our needs far more cheaply, far more quickly, far more safely, and with much greater certainty than Sizewell C and nuclear ever could.
The NFLA will continue to fight for this clean energy future.
We urge you to keep up the fight opposing Sizewell C and we will be proud to continue to stand with you in that fight. You have right on your side and history shows that right shall always prevail.
With a final salute and our very best wishes to you all for a successful march and rally on 15 May.
Councillor David Blackburn,
Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee