PROTESTERS GET READY TO BLOCK REACTOR BID

Bridgwater Times, 25 November 2005

Protesters against nuclear power are drawing up battle plans to stop a third station being built at Hinkley Point. Stop Hinkley members will be meeting on Wednesday and they will discuss tactics which could include a leaflet campaign in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Watchet and Minehead to gain support.

They are determined the Government will have a fight on their hands if they name Hinkley Point as a potential site for another reactor.

Speculation is rising that Prime Minister Tony Blair has already agreed to a new generation of reactors and Hinkley Point would be on the list of possible sites with Hunterston in Scotland and Sizewell in Suffolk.

Mr Blair faced a grilling by the House of Commons liaison committee this week and said the Government faced "difficult and controversial decisions" on climate change and energy supply.

Planning permission for a third Hinkley reactor was granted in 1991 after a public inquiry which lasted for 15 months. A reactor was never built, although some infrastructure was put in including updating the wharf at Combwich and a road to link it to Hinkley. The wharf was refurbished about ten years ago and is used to bring in heavy machinery to Hinkley Point.

The planning permission lapsed about eight years ago but it would be a prime site for the Government to chose for a reactor. Hinkley Point A is being dismantled and Hinkley B is due to be decommissioned by 2011.

Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley, said: "Tony Blair may think building nuclear power stations on existing sites will be met with little resistance from local people but many will oppose them. We did an opinion poll in Burnham in 2002 and out of 300 people, 83 per cent said they would not want another power station and that included some people and their families who worked there."

If the Government carries out a consultation, Stop Hinkley will respond in full. Last time there was a Government review, they handed in a ten-page response with a 300-page attachment containing press cuttings Stop Hinkley had generated.

Mr Duffy said: "We think some of the reasons put forward for nuclear power are spurious. Reactors will only save about six to eight per cent of carbon emissions."

An independent Site Stakeholder Group meets at Hinkley and chairman Mike Short said Hinkley A was a main employer in the Bridgwater area and at one time contributed about £20 million to the local economy. Mr Short said: "I would have thought a significant percentage of people would want another power station for employment reasons. There are people who would be in favour and others who would not, such as Stop Hinkley. It will be up to the Government to decide. Everyone is coming round to realise that in ten to 20 years' time we will have to rely on gas and oil imports for energy."

http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

MP BACKS PRINCIPLE OF HINKLEY REACTOR

Burnham & Highbridge Times, 26 November 2005

Protesters against nuclear power are drawing up battle plans to stop a third station being built at Hinkley Point.

But Burnham's MP David Heathcoat-Amory has said he would not be against another reactor being built at Hinkley. He said: "There is no evidence to suggest there has been an increased rate of concern caused by radiation. "I am satisfied that the present regime is adequate. If what scientists are warning is true then we have to go back to nuclear to reduce carbon emissions. Wind power is simply fiddling at the edges."

Speculation is rising that Prime Minister Tony Blair has already agreed to a new generation of reactors and Hinkley Point could be on the list of possible sites, together with Hunterston in Scotland and Sizewell in Suffolk. But protest groups such as Stop Hinkley are promising the Government will have a fight on its hands if Hinkley Point is named as a site for a new nuclear power station.

Planning permission for a third reactor at Hinkley was granted in 1991 after a public inquiry which lasted for 15 months. It was never built but some infrastructure was put in including updating the wharf at Combwich and a road to link it to Hinkley. The planning permission lapsed about eight years ago but it would be a prime site for the Government to choose for a reactor.

Hinkley Point A is now being dismantled and Hinkley B is due to be decommissioned by 2011.

Stop Hinkley spokesman Jim Duffy said: "Tony Blair may think building nuclear power stations on existing sites will be met with little resistance from local people but many will oppose them. We did an opinion poll in Burnham in 2002 and out of 300 people 83 per cent said they would not want another power station and that included some people and their families who worked there."

051125

Stop Hinkley Logo