Socialist Worker

Tories put safety and environment at risk with plans for new nuclear plant

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2735

Tory Andrea Leadsom (centre) with Jim Crawford (left), Sizewell C Project Development Director, in 2016. The Tories have long planned new nuclear power

Tory Andrea Leadsom (centre) with Jim Crawford (left), Sizewell C Project Development Director, in 2016. The Tories have long planned new nuclear power (Pic: Department of Energy and Climate Change/Flickr)


The Tories have restarted negotiations over funding a new £20 billion nuclear power plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk. 

If, as expected, the project goes ahead, the cash will head for multinational company EDF.

The Financial Times newspaper said the news will “delight nuclear industry executives who have been waiting since last year for signs that the government was prepared to forge ahead with another large new plant to replace Britain’s current fleet of ageing reactors”.

The Tories insist that nuclear power can help to offset the effects of climate change. And unsurprisingly, so do energy bosses.

One EDF spokesperson said, “Sizewell C has a vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis and helping the UK meet its net zero target.

“When complete, Sizewell C will deliver a biodiversity net gain to the area.”

Environmental activists aren’t fooled by these lies.

Last week protesters gathered to oppose the cutting down of woodland in order to clear space for Sizewell C.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust said the new plant would have a “devastating” impact. It would destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty the size of 900 football pitches, rare wildlife habitats and ten hectares of a protected site.

Nuclear power is not clean energy. It creates tonnes of radioactive waste.

Repeated nuclear disasters have caused deaths and widespread pollution that can affect an area for decades.

Nuclear power is dangerous—and it isn’t needed.

Renewable power such as offshore wind is already much cheaper than expensive nuclear.

Greenpeace UK said, “This money would be far better spent on a flexible grid that can handle the shedloads of cheap renewables increasingly powering the UK.” 

Yet the Tories are determined to push ahead because of the relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

They put maintaining the ability to manufacture weapons above safety and the environment.


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