New nuclear research on the Sizewell coast

edf energy 150Vital research for the Sizewell C project starts next month around our coastline.

A team of marine engineers working on the Sizewell C project will gather fresh data from the seabed via a series of geophysical surveys, tests and shallow boreholes along the Sizewell shoreline and out to sea. As part of the work sediment cores will be removed from the sea-bed for laboratory analysis.

This work will provide essential geotechnical information for ongoing design studies for the cooling water infrastructure and the Marine Offloading Facility (MOLF) needed for the proposed new power station. The work will be carried out from boats in front of the Sizewell site.

EDF Energy has applied to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for a license to carry out this work as we will be removing sediment from the sea-bed. A ‘soft-start’ drilling procedure will be used to protect local marine wildlife. This work is due to start in early September and will take approximately 6 weeks to complete, depending on the weather conditions.

A considerable amount of research has already been gathered at sea using state of the art equipment developed by CEFAS in Lowestoft for the project. This includes data currently being used in modelling work that will help determine the location of the cooling water outfall structure for Sizewell C.

At the end of 2013 CEFAS deployed a series of seabed-mounted wave and current recorders in order to provide information that will inform a number of studies, including the flood risk assessment work. Crucially they were able to gather data around the storm surge event which affected the east coast on 5 December 2013

CEFAS is also collecting data from the coastal processes radar that was established last year on Sizewell A, the highest point in the vicinity. The radar uses sophisticated software to collect data on wave length, height and direction from the coastline out to sea. It will also provide us with important information on how the shoreline, seabed and features such as the Dunwich-Sizewell sandbanks change with time and respond to differing weather conditions, including storm events. This work will help inform the sea defence requirements for the potential new power station, our coastal management strategy and also the design of the MOLF, which would be used to take delivery of large pieces of equipment to the site and minimise the impact on the local roads.