A NEW nuclear power station at Bradwell would be a mistake, Colchester Council has told the Government.

Councillors have spent months looking at the question of Bradwell’s suitability for another nuclear plant at a series of public hearings.

Their report, sent to Whitehall as part of a national consultation which ended on Monday, says ministers should look elsewhere.

All the sites under consideration in the consultation already house nuclear plants built in the Fifties or Sixties.

Tory councillor Christopher Arnold, who chaired the panel looking at the issue, said he and colleagues had decided it was wrong to assume if locations were deemed suitable 50 or 60 years ago they were suitable now.

He added: “We weren’t interested in saying ‘not in my back yard’, but we found there were real problems with the site.”

In its report, the committee raised concerns that:

* A second plant at Bradwell would be at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels.

* Nuclear waste would be stored underground at Bradwell until close to the end of the 22nd century – by which time the coastline could be under water as a result of climate change.

* A second plant would damage Mersea’s oyster industry.

The councillors have heard from Burnham-based Government scientists, who found the shore and sea bed on the Bradwell coast had become sterile while the old power station was operating.

Once the plant was decommissioned, life quickly returned because water was no longer being sucked in to cool the reactor cores and pumped out again in a warm, chlorinated state.

The Government has invited energy companies to submit bids to build nuclear power stations as ministers believe a second generation of plants will help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Submissions put forward as part of the consultation will be used to help decide which sites should get the go-ahead.

A new national agency will decide where the new plants are built.