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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 13:21 GMT
'We want a third nuclear plant'
By Andrew Turner
BBC News, in Sizewell

Sizewell B
The Sizewell B plant was built in the 1980s

Dominating the skyline of Sizewell village is the hulking rectangular block of its first nuclear reactor.

Sizewell A was built in the 1960s and shut down in 2006.

Alongside it there is the gleaming white dome of the 1990s Sizewell B plant, the village's second reactor, which carried the local economy through the recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

For years there has been talk of a third nuclear plant in the Suffolk coastal village.

Builder Malcolm Rabett, 58, from the nearby town of Leiston, said a third nuclear station "could not come quickly enough".

He said: "There was a bit of resentment that they didn't build C straight away, but that's typical of this country.

"They'll keep on beating about the bush until they go to switch on a light and it won't work.

"With Sizewell C we need to get that going - the sooner the better for the whole area."

Beach 'unspoiled'

A group of about eight dog walkers who meet every day at the huts on Sizewell's beach said they loved the fact the beach was unspoiled and that the power stations kept many people away.

Dog walkers on Sizewell beach, Lynn Chamberlain, third from right
Dog walkers said they liked the fact the station kept many people away

Lyn Chamberlain, 53, from Aldeburgh, said: "I would prefer a more mixed approach [to power generation], but I'm not against nuclear power stations either.

"I think as we have got two already, it's ok to have another one here. I think that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

"We come here every day between eight and nine in the morning and walk our dogs. We do not see the plant from here."

Ms Chamberlain said the plant helped local people by funding patrols of the beaches and wildlife protection in the area.

Sharron Watson, 32, was born and raised in Leiston and returned to live in the area last year.

"I'm 17 weeks pregnant", she said.

"I know that you are not allowed to drink alcohol or go near microwaves. To think I'm right next to a power station - there is no information about the risks.

Sharron Watson
Ms Watson said a third reactor would raise the terror threat

"I think I am all right and my brother and I both grew up near Sizewell A. We never really thought about it. The dangers were never really talked about.

"Technology in all areas is getting better and so I'm hoping that the technology of a new reactor will be a lot more researched and that the standards will be a lot higher."

Last year it was revealed that detailed plans of Sizewell B were found in anti-terror raids after the July 2005 bomb attacks.

Ms Watson said: "When we take our dogs for a walk and we see armed police about, I think it's really sad, because having another power station would give more chances of having a suicide bomber and we have to look at that as well.

"It's the sad generation that we are coming into."

'Housing needed'

When Sizewell B was being built, more than 5,000 people from all over the UK and abroad formed the on-site construction team, many requiring somewhere to live.

Ernie Nichols, local butcher
Mr Nichols said surrounding areas would benefit from a third plant

Ernie Nichols, 66, who runs a family-run butcher and delicatessen shop in Leiston, a town about three miles inland from Sizewell, said the area had benefited from the nuclear industry.

He said: "They have injected a fair bit of money into the place, but I think Leiston would benefit a lot more from another power station.

"The swimming pool was built by them, though it is now run by the local council."

Ian Fleury, 38, who runs Geaters Florist, said he hoped the developers of any future nuclear plant would make a contribution to the development of new housing in the area.

He said: "There was talk about houses being built for the construction workers and then handing them over to a housing association once the work was done, for local people to move into.

"They have got the land to do it, they have got the funds to do it, the only thing we haven't got is the houses for the young local people to afford."



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