Bridgwater Times, 1st December 2007

The prospect of a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been met with anger by anti-nuclear campaigners.

In readiness for a Government decision on the future of nuclear power early next year, British Energy this week named four possible sites for rectors: Hinkley Point; Sizewell in Suffolk ; Dungeness in Kent ; and Bradwell in Essex .

But campaigners against nuclear power reacted angrily to the likelihood of Hinkley C becoming a reality.

Stop Hinkley spokesman Jim Duffy said: "We don't need a Hinkley C, which will cost us dearly in terms of subsidies, a lost opportunity to combat climate change and, not least, in people's worries over safety.

"The Government has been wooed into accepting this plan, throwing away the chance to promote renewables, local-scale generation and energy efficiency.

"We should follow the Scottish Parliament's progressive lead in this direction."

British Energy announced on Tuesday that the National Grid had agreed to create extra capacity on the electricity network for up to 10GW of power generated by new reactors at the favoured four sites from 2016.

The company has also commissioned engineering consultants Halcrow to look into the effects climate change and possible flooding could have on the four sites.

Halcrow says a flood protection wall at Hinkley could be extended and, if a new plant is set back from the cliff line, there would be no flood risks predicted for the elevated site.

British Energy has also commissioned geological, environmental and marine studies to assess the impact of building new stations and will be involved in talks with community groups based near each of the sites.

British Energy head of strategy and business development Paul Spence said: "These activities are part of our on-going preparations to ensure that our sites are well placed for consideration as candidates for replacement nuclear power stations, if Government allow private sector generators that option.

"Assessing and protecting against the potential effects of climate change on our sites, which are all on the coast, is important for today's fleet and for any possible replacement nuclear build programme.

"The connection agreements give us the flexibility we need to accommodate a variety of plans for the future.

"They also give National Grid as much time as possible to plan and implement any infrastructure works that may be needed to allow for future stations."

Mr Duffy also voiced fears about the security of nuclear installations, saying: "The industry's jitters about terrorism were shown to me recently when I was stopped no less than four times outside the power station by police or security while filming with a regional TV company.

"This technology requires stringent security but one day it might fail, with unthinkable consequences."


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Page Updated 04-Dec-2007