Work to build the Dry Fuel Store at Sizewell B power station starts this week.
The Dry Fuel Store will be situated on the existing Sizewell B site and will take approximately two years to build.
“This is an important major development for Sizewell B power station, which will ensure we have the ability to continue to store our spent fuel, safely and securely, on site for many years to come,” said Jim Crawford, Sizewell B’s Station Director.
“While we are trying to minimise the impact the work will have on our neighbours, we recognise that a construction project of this size will put pressure on the local road network.”
“So, as part of this project, we are investing nearly £200,000 in getting road improvements made on the main route between Yoxford and Sizewell B. This road improvement work is being carried out by Suffolk County Council’s Highways Department and is due to be completed by July 2013.”
Under the current arrangements, all the spent fuel from Sizewell B’s reactor since it began producing safe, low-carbon electricity in 1995 is stored under water in a fuel storage pond. However, this is expected to reach capacity in 2015.
The new Dry Fuel Store will provide capacity for Sizewell B’s spent fuel from 2015 for the lifetime of the power station or until a deep geological disposal facility is available.
Planning permission for the Dry Fuel Store (DFS) was granted in July 2011. However, when planning permission was granted, it was subject to a number of planning conditions which had to be met before work could begin.
These conditions were met and Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Planning Committee gave the final go-ahead for the Dry Fuel Store at its meeting on Wednesday, 12 September 2012.
The beginning of construction work on the Dry Fuel Store also marks an important milestone for the Amenity and Accessibility Fund (AAF), which has been developed to improve access and use of the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The AAF is being managed by EDF Energy, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council in consultation with Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It was developed because the Dry Fuel Store may delay the return of part of the Sizewell B site to other uses. The site would otherwise have been expected to be restored in keeping with the surrounding AONB designated landscape.
The AAF was launched earlier this year and the first round of successful projects were chosen. However, the start of the Dry Fuel Store construction work signals the official release of the funds from the initial payment of £120,000 made by EDF Energy. This will be followed by further annual payments of £20,000.
Anyone can apply for funding as long as they can demonstrate their project has a direct link to improving the accessibility of the AONB or they conserve or enhance the local amenity. For further information visit – www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org