Civil Nuclear Road Map

Part of Backbench Business – in the House of Commons am 2:32 pm ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Damian Collins Damian Collins Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee), Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) 2:32, 22 Chwefror 2024

I agree with my right hon. Friend, particularly on her point about the labour markets, and in the Sizewell area that is incredibly important. I know from Dungeness in my constituency that it is the certainty of having long-term employment that attracts some of the best talent and encourages people, including apprentices, to join the industry. The Minister will probably want to comment on the substance of my right hon. Friend’s remarks.

In the time available to me, I want focus on the site lists consultations element of the civil nuclear road map. The Government are saying that the criteria that were applied to nuclear sites in 2011 should still apply today, and in most cases that is true. Safety, access to water—where appropriate—and grid connections could all be important considerations when it is being decided where the sites could be, along with habitat implications and, in coastal areas, flood risk. All those are constants. The one factor that has completely changed since 2011 is the size of the footprint of the nuclear facility itself.

In Dungeness, an important factor has been the existence of a special protected area as a consequence of the unique shingle peninsula on which it sits, which is the second biggest in the world and a habitat that is unique in Europe, let alone the UK—the biggest shingle peninsula in the world is Cape Canaveral, in the United States. The protections are there for areas of the shingle banks that have never been disturbed. However, there are plenty of areas surrounding existing nuclear sites that are, in effect, brownfield sites where that disturbance has taken place. As they are not in special protected areas, I believe that future development would be possible.