Brief Report on
EDF Energy Hinkley Point Community Forum
30th September at Stogursey Victory Hall
By Allan Jeffery, Stop Hinkley Assistant Co-ordinator.
Here are a few notes from the above meeting where I was the Stop Hinkley representative. With me were Charlie Graham (Green Party rep) and Crispin Aubrey (Forum21 rep). Jo Brown represented Parents Concerned about Hinkley.
PPS are the company organising these consultation meetings for EDF, which tries to be a good neighbour with the local communities, as it prepares its planning applications with the local council, ready for the final submission to the IPC.
Chairing the meeting was Charles St George (PPS). There were a large number of organisations represented and introduced.
To appease Jo about health aspects of nuclear the chairman agreed that a link to the Stop Hinkley website would be available so that the public could see the scientific health reports that relate to radiation. [Click here for information]
Richard Mason, EDF, said these meetings are about new build, not Hinkley A or B as the stakeholders meetings already cover these. Their aim is to build the new stations and be working by 2017 and 2019.
They have started initial investigative works, archaeological trenches, geological boreholes several metres deep (these are not for foundations) and ecological surveys in the Cannington area. Also a boat is doing some non intrusive studies in the estuary. In mid October for 8/10 weeks there will be a drilling rig in the estuary taking geological boreholes to assess where will be the best places for extracting the cooling water. This caused some concern with the gentleman from the Bridgwater Bay Wildfowlers Association, who asked why had they not been consulted about the timing of this work as it was not the best time to avoid disturbing the Wildfowl.
In February they want to apply to the local councils on the planning issues involving, sea wall building, clearing and terracing the land, and forming a temporary jetty.
There will also be discussions with the councils about a Cannington bypass sometime. This will be discussed at these forum meetings when they reach that stage along with park and ride schemes.
EDF hope to be able to put their application in to the IPC in July 2010 and hope, if they get approval, to start building in July 2011.
There was concern from Fiona McMillan, Bridgwater College Principal, about whether the impacts of lots of overlapping activities, all occurring at the same time, are being properly considered, bypasses along with building of new schools in Bridgwater and coastal work with the Environment Agency. The Bridgwater Bay Wildfowlers were also concerned about lots of excavation work being done.
The large area of land chosen for building the 2 reactors was questioned by Crispin. They said they went for the large area because of the need for space to store, temporarily, large amounts excavated material produced when forming the water extraction tunnels which will be below the surface of the estuary, during construction. There will also be space required for storage and treatment of spent fuel. I asked if there was the possibility of the movement of spent fuel from elsewhere. I was assured that it would only be used for Hinkley fuel. A member of Somerset Council Planning department assured me that was the case from the Somerset Council that waste could not be brought in from outside.
Other points to be discussed at future meetings will include the possibility of park and ride, and the building of workers hostels.
They seemed keen on the idea of workers hostel accommodation, to keep the workers on site for at least a week at a time and providing leisure facilities on site. There will have to be shielding/landscaping to hide them from Shurton.
There will also be consultation meetings with the national grid about the 400 kv extra power lines. (Regarding this, in this weeks Bridgwater Times a letter asked why they could not lay the electric cable along the bed of the Severn estuary.)
A very useful contact was the rep. from South West Planning Aid who was very keen to give groups like us help on planning issues. This independent charity gets money from the government, but is not politically tied, and gives free advice on planning issues to ordinary people who need help in trying to understand how to object and protest against big projects. Rather like a translator or a CAB for planning issues. He has organised 3 meetings to help groups like us wanting to object to Hinkley. I suggest Stop Hinkley members and anybody else try to get to one of these meetings. I have attached scans of the charity's leaflet.
The next forum consultation meeting is on Thursday 12th November at the Cannington Energy centre (Bridgwater College, Cannington).