Hot on the heels of the company’s Annual General Meeting, the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities have written to the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Aviva calling on them not to invest in the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station.
In his letter to Mrs Amanda Blanc and Mr George Culmer, Councillor David Blackburn identifies the pitfalls of investing in the uncertainties of new nuclear: ‘Major projects are invariably delivered very late, at a cost way over initial budgets, can be accompanied by lengthy legal and regulatory disputes between contracting parties and with government agencies, and are bitterly opposed at every stage by local campaigners’.
He also points out that invariably such investments would run contrary to any company’s commitment to environmental protection: ‘The consequences of an accident involving an operational reactor could be catastrophic and such operations leave a toxic legacy of radioactive waste that endanger the Earth and must be managed safely by countless succeeding generations’.
The NFLA believes that such an investment in Sizewell could cause great reputational damage to Aviva as well as a representing a significant financial risk.
Councillor Blackburn would like the company to redirect its money towards renewables instead:
“Sizewell C and new nuclear is not the answer to Britain’s energy crisis nor to the climate emergency – it is way too expensive and would come at least twenty years too late, if indeed if ever happens. Aviva would be better backing renewables which can produce green power at a much lower cost, much more quickly. Then they could make a financial return whilst doing a whole lot of good for our planet!”
For more information, please contact NFLA Secretary Richard Outram by email on email@example.com or mobile 07583097793
The letter to Aviva follows.
Note to Editors
The letter to the CEO and Chair of Aviva from Councillor David Blackburn reads:
Mrs Amanda Blanc, Chief Executive Officer and Mr George Culmer, Chair
By email c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mrs Blanc and Mr Culmer,
An appeal not to back Sizewell C
As Chair of the UK / Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities, I am writing to you to add our collective voice to those of the campaigners of Suffolk who, adamantly opposed to the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant development, recently attended your AGM to urge Aviva to refuse to invest.
EDF Energy, an offshoot of the French state owned Electricité de France, is proposing to build two unproven, and possibly unsafe, EPR reactors on the fragile Suffolk Heritage Coast. The proposed development is on a site that adjoins nature reserves of especial interest and will require an unsustainable amount of local water for its operations. It amounts to an ecological disaster.
The delivery of any new nuclear project will be fraught. Recent experience has shown that major projects are invariably delivered very late, at a cost way over initial budgets, can be accompanied by lengthy legal and regulatory disputes between contracting parties and with government agencies, and are bitterly opposed at every stage by local campaigners. Indeed, many such projects have ultimately failed to come to fruition, leaving corporate investors with a huge financial headache. In short to invest in nuclear is financial madness.
Furthermore, any investment in new nuclear would invariably be at odds with any company’s commitment to environmental protection, as the consequences of an accident involving an operational reactor could be catastrophic and such operations leave a toxic legacy of radioactive waste that endanger the Earth and must be managed safely by countless succeeding generations. Consequently, it would come with significant reputational damage as customers and institutions considering where to place their money and having a concern for the future of our planet would shy away from a company backing such projects.
If these reasons – financial madness and reputational damage – were insufficient to dissuade Aviva from investing in Sizewell C, then you best know that there is a further risk in backing an EPR nuclear project. For the EPR design has a chequered safety record, with an accident occurring at such a plant at Taishan-1 in China last year. The reactor is now shut down as investigations continue and no-one yet knows (or admits to know) the full ramifications for the future.
The NFLA would instead urge you to use Aviva’s money for good – by backing a range of renewable technologies to produce green power for Britain at a much lower cost, much more quickly, with no accompanying operational risks, and with no legacy of toxic waste. Not only will this realise a return on your investment, but you will also find favour amongst the British public and be doing a whole lot of good for our planet too!