Sizewell C’s nuclear power plant vision will create a jobs bonanza for Norfolk and Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 08:09 21 November 2012 | UPDATED: 09:33 21 November 2012
Plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell will pave the way for a jobs bonanza in Norfolk and Suffolk – with the aim of employing 25,000 people over nine years.
The announcement comes today as EDF Energy launches its public consultation on the proposed development of the Sizewell C power station, which will cost £6bn and generate enough electricity to power five million homes.
Business leaders have used the moment to urge enterprises across the east to seize “one of the biggest opportunities” of the next decade, which will includes major develop-ments and infrastructure projects for Suffolk.
It is estimated that the project could be worth as much as £100m a year to the local economy during construction – and a further £40m a year thereafter.
But campaigners have warned of the potential dangers of the project amid claims that nuclear energy is unsafe and will damage a swathe of the Suffolk countryside.
In the consultation documents released today, EDF has proposed:
Two new UK EPR reactors at Sizewell C next door to Sizewell B;
Possible sites for a new visitors’ centre;
Possible sites for a temporary campus to house about 3,000 workers;
Park and ride facilities for workers who commute;
An upgrade of the rail network near Sizewell so it could be used for freight delivery during construction;
A jetty for sea delivery during the construction of the power station;
A lorry park with 50 to 100 parking spaces;
Road improvements, with the possibility of a bypass of part of the A12.
EDF Energy’s Richard Mayson, director of planning and external affairs nuclear new build, said: “Sizewell C would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain.
“It would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for low carbon, secure and affordable energy.
“It would also create significant business, training and employment opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the UK.”
“During the construction period of Sizewell B, the most recent nuclear reactor to be built in the UK, over 3,000 UK companies were involved with 690 from East Anglia.
“During the peak construction phase over 5,000 people were employed with a large proportion from the local area.”
French-owned EDF revealed that the Sizewell C power station will cover 32 hectares of land and be built next to the current Sizewell A and B power stations near the village of Leiston.
It follows a government consultation which pinpointed Sizewell as one of eight sites suitable for a new power station by 2025.
The public are now being asked to give their views on how the project should be delivered.
EDF predicts that Sizewell C will create 25,000 on-site jobs during the power station’s lifespan, including 5,600 people working on the site’s construction, and 900 people to operate it once it is finished.
Meanwhile, bosses at EDF said they are committed to making sure local people are ready to take advantage of the opportunity by working in partnership with colleges, businesses, and local authorities to build training programmes.
Chris Starkie, programme director at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, has hailed the project as the “single biggest opportunity” for Norfolk and Suffolk in the next 20 years.
He said: “The consultation is a really important stage because it shows how determined EDF are to progress with this significant investment project that will create thousands of jobs for Norfolk and Suffolk over many years.
“I think Norfolk and Suffolk can be ready to take advantage of the opportunities because construction will not start for a number of years, so young people can start to be trained.
“What we want to ensure is that the local area benefits from these jobs, so they do not have to import too much skilled labour from outside.
“Along with offshore wind, this is the single biggest opportunity we are likely to have in the next 10 or 20 years.”
Caroline Williams, chief executive officer of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, has been working closely with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to make sure businesses are aware of the opportunities the new power station will pose.
She said: “As part of its procurement strategy for Sizewell C, EDF Energy has joined with the Suffolk and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce as the first point of contact for business and agencies wishing to engage in the construction of the project, and to support local businesses that want to become part of the supply chain.
“EDF have created a trading platform www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk allowing tier 1 and 2 companies to easily engage with smaller businesses.”