I’m writing to check if you are aware how much opposition is building against the massive new power station on the Dengie (BRB)?

The sending out of glossy brochures (ultimately at the ratepayers expense) has backfired in that now people are waking up to what a horror its construction will be.

The petition to Parliament against it started by people in the village is a case in point - it already has over 4000 signatures. People realise it’s not just that village that will suffer - the attractive and peaceful Dengie will become the Canvey Island equivalent for this century.

(Those wanting to sign it can go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/302971)

My own criticisms in a nutshell are these:

n the Government’s fundamental case for the station has been thoroughly undermined: the Government back in 2011 used 2005 data to justify more nuclear stations nationally. Its own predictions for UK electricity demand are out by a factor 31 per cent, (even before the virus whacked it down even more) as in fact our consumption between 2000 and now is down by over 20 per cent. Not only has electricity demand decreased, but - alternative supplies have significantly increased - compensating for the loss of coal and fired stations. Nuclear might be lauded as carbon neutral but it leaves an indefinite toxic legacy, unlike renewables which are also carbon neutral.

Bradwell was never meant to be top of the list of possible sites, and became so for political not economic reasons. The contract was forged as a sweetener to salvage a new Hinkley one, made between Cameron/Osborne and the Chinese Government at a time we needed a trade deal.

n The economic case no longer supports nuclear The deal with Hinkley means its output will cost the British tax payer more than £104 per MW compared to £45 for the latest price at the Dogger Bank wind farm - and the fixed Hinkley price is index-linked for 35 years

n New build here is at odds with the Government’s equalisation of investment across the country. Poorer parts of the UK have lost out as other nuclear contracts have been walked away from by their developers. This region already has massive development under way in nearby Suffolk.

n Nuclear can’t be switched off easily when demand fluctuates. Not only is this a technical ‘base load’ issue, the design will inevitably only cope with current predictions, but the unexpected can always happen. At Sizewell right now for example, because of the virus, the huge new drop in demand means the Government may pay its developer (EDF) an extra £50m to halve its output, according to the Times last week. Here at Bradwell obvious likely candidates for the unexpected are the rapidly changing sea levels and severe weather incidents.

n The public’s right to question and comment has been affected by the current virus. All but two of the intended public consultation exhibitions have been scrapped. The developer has tried to paper over the gap but phone appointments can’t replace the effectiveness of the kind of exhibition I witnessed in Maldon.

Even worse, with the council offices shut and meetings cancelled, the decision on the essential site investigations is being made by three councillors behind closed doors.

I therefore challenge the Government to update its energy policy to incorporate current facts and revise its predictions, and challenge Maldon District to properly and publicly debate its current policy of fully supporting the new power station being built, and right now to refuse the planning application for site investigations.

Judy Lea

Spital Road, Maldon