Bridgwater Mercury, 10th June 2008
A NEW nuclear power station at Hinkley Point could bring up to 2,000 jobs to the Bridgwater area during construction, it was revealed this week.
French energy giant EDF, which has bought enough land next to the existing Hinkley Point B to house one new reactor, hopes to begin work on the first of four new UK power stations in 2012.
The Government is currently carrying out a strategic siting process for nuclear power stations, and if, as expected, EDF is given the go-ahead to build at Hinkley, Bridgwater can look forward to a massive jobs boom.
EDF is employing a peak of 2,000 short-term workers during the construction of a similar power station in Normandy, France .
Hinkley Point can expect a similar figure, and there will also be 300 permanent jobs when the station is up and running.
EDF spokesman Kaa Holmes said the plans were at a very early stage.
He said: "Throughout this process we're committed to working with the local community to understand all the issues and discuss how a new plant can benefit the community."
Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: "There's a massive opportunity coming and we must embrace it.
"This will bring prosperity to the area for decades and it will encourage other businesses to come here.
"EDF has told me they will employ local people where possible."
Stop Hinkley spokesman Jim Duffy said his campaign team has a new recruit, veteran campaigner David Taylor, to help oppose EDF's plans.
Mr Duffy said: "Our supporters want us to do our utmost to stop this, and save future generations the risk of nuclear waste and accidents."