THE chair of a group against the proposed Bradwell B site says climate change is the “overriding” issue facing the future of the nuclear power plant project.

Prof Andrew Blowers, chairman of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), has said new east coast nuclear power stations such as Bradwell B are likely to become victims of the “inevitable, imminent and irreversible consequences” of global warming.

Speaking at a hearing at the Sizewell C examination, Prof Blowers said climate change was the “transformative issue” of policy and should be at the heart of the discussion about building nuclear power stations on the east coast.

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He said: “The examination process must raise its sights from the interminable and obfuscating legalistic debates controlled by developers and give attention to the real and present danger climate change poses for the security and viability of projects in such unsuitable locations.

“Put simply, there is little justification for these huge structures in terms of need.

“But, regardless of need, given the threat to the integrity of the sites and the risks to present and future generations and environments, the proposals should be scrapped forthwith.”

BANNG says as sea levels rise, coastal flooding and erosion will increase and extreme events are expected, in some scenarios, to occur annually in future.

It says these impacts would pose a threat to the security of the highly radioactive wastes stored on the proposed Bradwell B site.

But a Bradwell B spokesman said: “Building Bradwell B is the single biggest contribution Essex can make in the fight against climate change. Nuclear has a critical role to play in decarbonising electricity, providing continuous reliable low carbon power, day and night, rain or shine.

“A recent UN report states the world’s climate objectives ‘will not be met if nuclear technologies are excluded’. A few days ago the UK had to rely on re-starting a coal station to make up an energy short-fall, making it clear the urgent need to invest in nuclear.

“As a responsible developer, we also take climate change into account when developing our project. This includes using the latest data and working with experts and regulators in our analysis to design a nuclear power station which is safe through operation and decommissioning.”