Sizewell C supporters outnumber opponents, poll finds

Published:
11:44 am September 29, 2022



A majority of people in east Suffolk support the construction of a new nuclear power station, according to a new poll.

Polling firm ICM found that despite controversy surrounding the construction of Sizewell C in Leiston, 61% of ‘a representative sample’ of 1,000 residents who took part in its survey backed the plans while 24% backed it are opposed.

Energy company EDF – which runs the Sizewell B nuclear power station and is spearheading efforts to build the next-generation plant – said the poll results show support for the project has remained strong over a two-year period. year.

The independent investigation was commissioned by EDF. A similar poll was taken in November 2020, and 58% favored the station while 27% opposed it.

Half felt EDF had been open and transparent in communicating to local people about Sizewell B, while 21% did not, while 68% felt they were very or fairly well informed on nuclear energy.

A new opinion poll has shown nearly two-thirds of people in east Suffolk support the construction of Sizewell C and support for the project outweighs opposition by more than two to one.

ICM interviewed 800 adults by phone and 200 online between July 27 and September 5, 2022 – after the new powerhouse was given the green light – in the latest survey.

Two-thirds of respondents (66%) believe the plant will bring jobs and training to the area, while 59% believe the benefits will outweigh any temporary disruptions during construction.

Residents surveyed were strong supporters of net zero targets for carbon emissions with 86% in favour, with 70% believing nuclear should be part of the energy mix. Seven in 10 thought nuclear power could help Britain become more self-sufficient.

In a poll on energy types, 15% (152 people) were in favor of coal, 26% (263) were for gas, 55% were pro-nuclear (552) and 87% (874) were for wind energy. 70% agree with the statement that nuclear energy has disadvantages but that the country needs nuclear energy as part of the energy mix.

Sizewell C Regional Engagement Manager Tom McGarry welcomed the findings.

“Sizewell C has always had the support of the quiet majority as it offers a unique opportunity for jobs, training and growing prosperity,” he said.

“It will also continue Suffolk’s decades-long expertise in generating nuclear power for the country.

“While these results show that supporters far outnumber opponents, we recognize that a number of local people have understandable concerns about the construction phase.

“We will continue to work with them to ensure we reduce disruption to the minimum possible level and maximize the benefits this project can provide.”

Once built, the plant will produce enough electricity to power 6 million homes for at least 60 years, according to EDF.

Funding for the project is still being worked out ahead of construction as EDF and the government reach agreement on the £700million needed, the company said. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has highlighted Sizewell C as one of the projects to be accelerated under the government’s growth plan.

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