The safe and efficient evacuation of the community is a key element of emergency planning. The rural, coastal location of Sizewell creates huge problems in relation to safely evacuating thousands of residents, employees and school children. We believe that the current plan lacks integrity in stating that a full evacuation would be achievable, and we have repeatedly said so in our consultation responses. In the event of an emergency, the narrow country roads would very quickly become gridlocked and even the A12 would be impassable. Sizewell is quite simply not an appropriate location for a nuclear power station, and to suggest otherwise is indefensible.
To put it another way, unfamiliar maybe in these days of scientific omnipotence, the civil population of East Suffolk may be beyond saving in the event of a serious nuclear accident. This could be why Government has repeatedly declined to hold evacuation practices, for fear of revealing that they wouldn’t work. It could be why it makes such a fuss about iodine tablets, to disguise the inability of medicine to protect us from carbon 14, strontium 90 and all the other radio-isotopes that would assail us. It may be why it hung on so long to the patently obsolete Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) Act, which was supposed to save us all – even after Fukushima – yet was couched in terms favourable to the industry rather than to the Public. It could even be why, although the Health and Safety Executive quietly replaced REPPIR 2001 in January 2018, their website still says “For more information go to the draft Approved Code of Practice and guidance. We are in the process of updating the guidance below to reflect this change”. Are they still frightened of upsetting the nuclear lobby?
Until and unless EDF Energy come clean about how they are going to save us in the event of a “serious nuclear accident, however unlikely” – which is what the head of the UK nuclear regulators stated in 2016 ought to be the benchmark – we are entitled to our speculations and our nightmares.