Appeal to Prime Minster, Foreign and Energy Ministers, selected MP’s and Local Councillors to Reconsider Chinese State Plans for Essex Nuclear Power Plant by local community.

Bradwell B Action Network (BAN), a front-line grass roots campaign organisation, sent a strong message to the Prime Minster and other representatives including the government energy and foreign ministers and their opposites, pointing out a broad range of concerns and urging them to take immediate action to halt CGN’s plans for the Bradwell B nuclear plant. Time is of the essence if important local heritage is not to be destroyed before the UK government’s Security and Investment Bill comes into being. Local district and county councillors were also copied into the email. The email appeal, which went out late Thursday 21st January is provided below.

Conflicts of interest and cronyism at the heart of this risky venture

Not included in the appeal email but related (and maybe of interest to you in context of this press release) is recent written evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee by China expert Martin Thorley. This evidence throws a troubling light on how cronyism and big money interests led to the decision to allow CGN to invest in our nuclear energy in the first place, despite security service concerns being raised at the time. You can find a copy of Martin’s written evidence submission here which makes for interesting reading, exposing as it does both high profile individuals and commercial organisations with serious conflicts of interest in this matter. As always, it pays to follow the money!

Proximity to MOD sites, strategic infrastructure and large urban populations

Among the concerns raised in the email are the proximity of major infrastructure and strategic assets to the planned plant, which the Chinese State owned CGN are planning to build and operate. The site, at Bradwell on Sea, Essex is also within 30km range of large urban populations to the North, West and South. Despite UK security services raising concerns over the plans, consecutive Conservative governments have chosen to ignore the threats and allow CGN to pursue this ill-conceived project.

Please contact Linda Gemmill at this email address or by calling 07966 346290 for further information or comments. You can find an aerial picture of the site and RAF Bradwell Bay here

Email appeal message

Dear Ministers and Members of Parliament

We write to you appealing for an immediate decision from the UK government to halt any further involvement by CGN in the proposed development of a new nuclear plant at Bradwell on Sea as a matter of urgency. Despite many MP’s raising concerns about China’s involvement in UK nuclear energy, we have yet to hear whether the government will allow the Chinese State, via CGN, to pursue its plans to build Bradwell B.

Adverse Impacts

If the government, despite security concerns, continue to see this development as feasible, further compelling factors need to be considered to obtain a broader perspective on this project and its unintended and substantial consequences. While the many important habitat designations and related environmental impacts alone should render Bradwell B unacceptable, the geographical proximity of the site in relation to nationally strategic infrastructure and centres of population should render it totally unviable (see fig. 1).

Significant Infrastructure Sites and Centres of Population in Relation to the Proposed Bradwell B Nuclear Plant & Operation by China General Nuclear(CGN)kmmiles
Ministry of Defence Foulness COMAH site (weapons testing, evaluation and training facility which utilises the coastal sandflats for long range firing) *nearest distance to Danger Zone boundary during testing.13*8*
Stansted London Airport4829
City of London Airport6439
Parliament & Whitehall8050
Sizewell A & B (and potential C) Nuclear Power Plants7144
Harwich Port3521
Felixstowe Port3622
Tilbury Port4930
London Gateway Port3823
Colchester (including military barracks and firing range)1710
Rochford & Southend2113

Fig. 1

Substantial Risk Questions

As the unproven Chinese reactors (yet to be operational anywhere in the world) will be operated by a Chinese State-owned entity, relatively close to large urban populations, military operations and other strategic assets and infrastructure, the safety and security risks must by default pose a substantial risk to the UK.

The question has to be asked, given that Bradwell is situated in the most population intense areas of all the UK potential nuclear sites, why is the Chinese State so intent on having their two reactors sited here rather than elsewhere? We should not be naive in our assessing of China’s intentions and long-term aims or indeed its influence within our institutions but rather take note of our security services concerns and intel, acting accordingly – to do otherwise would be an unforgiveable dereliction of duty.

Economic and Social Upheaval

The economically buoyant area of South East Essex is not in need of major “levelling up” and any construction on this scale would be disruptive to the existing employment market, businesses and tourism. Additionally, construction and other associated traffic will cause gridlock on the inadequate local roads, with a substantial knock-on effect on the already strained connecting A-road network in this thriving region. This will result in related business disruption, economic impacts and increased pollution due to the increased congestion. The social impact of four and a half thousand temporary construction workers living on site, at the edge of a relatively remote village would be devastating and is also a major cause for concern in respect to community cohesion and safety.

Cultural Vandalism

The site is situated on the RAF Bradwell Bay airfield, which has a preservation group of over a thousand members keen to see the remaining World War II Control Tower, command HQ, associated buildings and runway saved, with the site repurposed as an education centre and museum. The airfield is currently under imminent threat from destruction should CGN be successful in its planning appeal for ground investigation works, currently under consideration by the Planning Inspectorate. If the appeal is granted CGN will proceed with a trial pit that would see an excavation 200m by 100m and 10m deep destroy the runway remains. Should this appeal by the Bradwell Power Generation Company Limited (CGN) be successful, and the UK government subsequently decides to refuse CGN’s application to build a nuclear power plant in the UK, an important part of our WWII heritage would be unnecessarily lost forever. We appeal to you to prevent this unwarranted cultural vandalism.


We believe that Bradwell B would be an economic, environmental and social disaster for the Maldon district and wider area of South East Essex as well as a significant security risk for the country. Furthermore, we feel that the UK government should review Bradwell’s inclusion on the list of new nuclear plant potential sites, taking into consideration the current urban population figures and projections for the surrounding area. We also believe that the government’s stated commitment to protecting biodiversity and conserving nature should mean protection for Bradwell On Sea against major development in order to preserve the integrity of its Ramsar, SPA, and SSSi sites, National `Nature Reserve, and Marine Conservation Zone status. We implore the UK government to take a prompt considered look at this project and put a holt to CGN’s plans for Bradwell B at the earliest opportunity, thereby preventing the unnecessary destruction of RAF Bradwell Bay.

Yours faithfully

Linda Gemmill
For and On Behalf of
Bradwell B Action Network