Bradwell B: Nuclear power company and Maldon District Council respond to letter leak

  Posted: 11.02.21 at 15:53 by The Editor

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Both Maldon District Council and the company behind the plans for Bradwell B have issued statements today (Thursday, 11 February) following "leaked" news that the developers have paused consultation with the council for a year.

The Bradwell Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) issued a press release shortly before 1pm claiming that it had discovered that Maldon District Council had "recently been informed by the developer (BRB) applying for consent to build the nuclear power plant at Bradwell on Sea that "engagement and all active project work will pause for at least a year"."

A spokesperson for BANNG said: "We have been told that BRB stated they "remain committed to the project" and MDC plan to re-engage with them "when they are ready to do so".

BANGG has said that it will "follow up on the implications" of this and have entitled the release with the question: "Now you see it, now you don't...?"

Following the claim, Maldon Nub News approached both Maldon District Council and Bradwell B Power Generation Company (BRB) for statements. The contents of the letter from BRB to the council are also included below.

Statement from Maldon District Council and details of the letter from BRB

Maldon District Council Leader, Councillor Wendy Stamp, said: “Maldon District Council has received a letter from Alan Raymant, Chief Executive of BRB to inform us that BRB’s engagement with the council will temporarily pause.

However, Cllr Stamp cautioned against anyone thinking the plans for the nuclear plant have gone away, adding: “Maldon District Council has actively engaged with BRB up until now, to identify the impacts their application for a new nuclear plant will have on the district and directly at Bradwell on Sea.

"We are under no illusion in thinking that the application for a new nuclear site is going to go away and we will continue to keep an active eye on BRB’s plans and will reengage with them when they are ready to do so.”

Response from BRB (Bradwell B Power Generation Company)

The statement from BRB emphasises that it is the engagement with local authorities that has been paused at this stage, rather than the project itself.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Bradwell B made strong progress in 2020 with the completion of our first stage of public consultation, completing environmental impact assessment scoping, and gaining an electricity generation licence.

"The year also brought some key challenges meaning that whilst we have made good progress in many areas, others are now out of sequence and we have ground to make up.

"In order to ensure that we take the project forward efficiently, this year we are prioritising technical aspects of our work, such as site feasibility, which will in turn feed into our development work in the future with the local authorities, when this is ready to be progressed.

"Doing so will give us the strongest possible foundation for delivering Bradwell B efficiently and effectively and making our contribution to achieving the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050."

The contents of the letter to Maldon District Council

The letter to Maldon District Council reads:

"The Bradwell B project made strong progress in 2020 with the completion of our first stage of public consultation, completion of EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) scoping and we benefitted from strong engagement with your team at Maldon District Council.

"Of course the year also brought some key challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that we could not access the site as readily as we would have liked and it also restricted the ability of some of our engineers to travel between the UK and China. As a result, our activities are at risk of falling out of sequence and we have ground to make up in some critical areas.

"In order to ensure that we take the project forward efficiently in 2021 and beyond we will be prioritising technical aspects of our work, such as site feasibility, and re-sequencing in other areas. Doing so will give us the strongest possible foundation for delivering Bradwell B efficiently and effectively and making our contribution to achieving the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

"In finalising our plan for 2021 we have had some difficult decisions to make. Faced with the need to tightly control our expenditure, we also need to ensure that those aspects of the project we are not ready to progress are paused. In the case of the essential engagement with local authorities and other statutory stakeholders, we have decided that we need to temporarily put this on hold alongside the work we were doing to actively progress towards further stages of public consultation and our eventual development consent order application. This will of course begin again in future years.’"

BANNG public information online event

BANNG has also scheduled a public Zoom session where members of the public can listen to presentations by the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) - and ask questions afterwards. For more details of the event on 9 March from 7.30pm to 9pm you can access the BANNG website via the link here.


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