Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

Written evidence submitted by Derek Wyatt (former MP 1997-2010) (NEFB01)

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

About EDF (80% owners of Sizewell C) 

EDF is a French state owned energy company; there has been no published Treasury analysis of its finances, its technology or its ability to deliver on a brand new plant whose science is as yet untried. What is the Government’s Plan B? What if President Macron is defeated in the French elections? What then happens to the funding of EDF per se?

About the China General Nuclear Corporation (20%)

Far more seriously, neither the Treasury nor the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has explained how they will pay for the removal of the Chinese investment having made many public pronouncement that they intend so to do. How is the 20% to be valued? What happens if the Chinese company pursues their legal status in the High Court? Does the Government intend to come back with Amendments to use these funds to buy-out the Chinese? I think we should be told.

About nuclear waste

The Government has not yet said where it will bury the nuclear waste. What if the county, metropolitan or council leaders of this place, somewhere in England but very likely to be the north west of England, oppose these plans? How will this affect this Bill?

About the lack of water needed for Sizewell C

There is not enough water to solve Sizewell C’s needs. EDF now want to build a sea water based solution which from memory was not in its original plans. A desalination  plant would have a profound impact on the ecology of the sea and the coast. This makes no sense. Desalination plants heats up the sea water and have killed millions of fish a year. This has been brushed aside as though you can miraculously heat up the water and somehow cause no deaths. This is just at a time when Suffolk people are working towards a visitor attraction for the underworld life from Felixstowe to Southwold. 

About the tax itself

This tax is a sprat to catch a mackerel. The Government hopes that if they can raise (say) £1.6billion from the already hard hit tax payer this will be attractive to global pension funds. Yet, many of the best pension funds have said that they would not invest in Nuclear. So again what is there Plan B?

There are 30.3 million UK tax payers but the way this tax is to be levied is by 19 million households via their energy bills. Let us look at some back of a postcard stats. 19m x £200 a year per household gives the Government its £1.6 billion. If it chooses to run this over two years well every household would be taxed £100. Taxes never stop; once they are introduced they stay. So is this Bill for ever or is it going to be time limited? What happens to those countries inside the UK who both oppose nuclear and oppose further taxation. Will this be force-fed to them. Will this be the New Poll Tax in a different set of clothing? 

And.

And what if the tax is levied but no pension funds come forward and the Chinese problem remains unresolved does the tax payer receive their money back with interest? How soon will that happen? Will another Bill be brought forward to fund some other infrastructure programme so the tax player loses all? 

About Big Nuclear Plants per se

There is much better, much cleaner, much smaller and much, much cheaper nuclear plants being built, referred to as city-based plants which Rolls Royce and Hitachi and others have been researching since 2006. Why is this Government so reluctant to use these smaller versions? It is because it would just be as hard for them to obtain planning permission whereas Suffolk people have put up with Sizewell A and B and so don’t mind Sizewell C. They are wrong. We loathe the idea of being put upon for the next 15 years. We have had enough. No Government has ever cared about us. And what is worse because of a Planning Regime this Government has done nothing to reform, this decision is being made in isolation. We also have two other enormous energy based demands on our small Anglo Saxon parishes again who have no infrastructure. The last time I looked the A12 was not dual-carriaged,  neither were our B and C roads. The people of East Suffolk are being bullied at every level to put up with Sizewell C ( a French/Chinese company), Scottish Power (a Spanish company) and now the National Grid (no longer a British company). We will be a building site for 15 years and day after day after day our lives will be less. Indeed our masters at East Suffolk Council (Tories) will not have a vote on these issues frightened they’d lose the seats - which they will. 

Others locally will raise in much more detail about why SIzewell C (and Scottish Power and National Grid) is not the answer and like many others here we stand in admiration at the work they have done and at a level better than the companies themselves and believe it or not by this Government. My family has lived in these parts for five generations and as Constable, Turner, Crabbe, Britten, Blythe, Freud and others have noted in their works there is something gigantic about the seas and the skies here in coastal Suffolk. It is unique. The light is intoxicating. The colours extraordinary. None of this is ever taken into consideration by our wretched Planning systems. But once destroyed, as it will be if this scheme goes ahead, the world will be a lesser place.  

Can this Bill, it is not worthy of you. 

November 2021

 

Prepared 17th November 2021