Hinkley fears rise

Somerset County Gazette, 18th May 2006

COMMENTS by Prime Minister Tony Blair this week in favour of nuclear power made a new atomic power station at Hinkley Point more likely, anti nuclear campaigners fear.

Mr Blair pre-empted the Government's own energy review, due by the end of July, by declaring that the replacement of existing nuclear power stations was now "back on the agenda with a vengeance."

Jim Duffy, of anti-nuclear campaign group Stop Hinkley, said: "It appears the Government will seek to minimise opposition by placing the new reactors alongside existing nuclear power stations, such as at Hinkley Point, where Hinkley B is still operational.

A public enquiry held in 1988-89 lasting 13 months came out in favour of a new Hinkley C plant, but planning permission, granted in 1990, has since lapsed.

Expressing grave concern about the type of reactor being mooted for Hinkley C, Mr Duffy said: "We believe safety has been compromised in the design for the sake of cost savings.

"The Government is due to make an announcement regarding the building of new power stations in July.

"But any building programme would require the Treasury to agree expenditure.

"Then there would be a lengthy licensing procedure, and a new planning enquiry is inevitable.

"It could be 15 years before any new power station is ready."



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