A CAMPAIGN group is calling for a council to make up its mind about a proposed nuclear power plant.

Last month, Maldon District Council voted in favour of a recommendation to send a letter in support of the development of small modular reactors at the site of Bradwell B power station.

The letter was sent to MP John Whittingdale and to the head of nuclear development at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in support of the development.

Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) said “We find this suggestion flies entirely in the face of recent pronouncements from the council.”

Previously the council reviewed its position to back Bradwell B due to the environmental and ecological impacts it would have.

Now BANNG says Maldon District Council “can’t have it both ways”.

Spokesman Varrie Blowers said: “BANNG has always maintained that the main problem with any new nuclear development at Bradwell was the unsuitability of the site itself.

“It was clear during the recent debates on the plans for Bradwell B that a strong majority of councillors agreed with BANNG that Bradwell is an unsuitable, unacceptable and unsustainable site for nuclear development.

“It is this message that needs to be made clear so that the site is removed from the Government’s list of potentially suitable sites.

“Small modular reactors would create the same environmental, heritage and ecological problems as those opposed by Maldon District Council in relation to Bradwell B.

“Maldon District Council cannot have it both ways.

“It cannot oppose a new nuclear power station on the grounds of the unsuitability of the site and the dangers and destruction to the environment and then entertain the idea of something similarly dangerous and destructive but that is a completely unknown quantity.”

Council leader Wendy Stamp said ultimately the council can not influence the decision of the Secretary of State (for Business), who has the final say on the power plant.

She said: “Many of our Councillors and residents share Banng’s concerns in relation to nuclear energy and nuclear development.

“In this specific situation the letter for SMR technology endorsement is not about being opposed to nuclear.

“Maldon District Council cannot simply say it doesn’t like something of this nature as it won’t influence the outcome.

“Come what may, the council must protect the district and if Government decides we are destined to receive a nuclear power plant at Bradwell-on-Sea then we are powerless to stop it.

“Smaller, UK-designed technology would be some consolation and this is what SMRs could offer.”

A Bradwell B spokesman said: “The Bradwell B Project continues to work on proposals for a new, third generation nuclear power station at Bradwell. When built, it will supply the equivalent of four million homes, which will help the UK take a huge step towards securing reliable, low carbon electricity supplies for more than 60 years.

“The UK HPR1000 technology we are proposing to use is progressing well through the generic design assessment by the UK’s nuclear regulators and our ongoing work continues to demonstrate that the site is suitable.

“We will continue to work with Maldon District Council as we progress through the planning and consenting process.”