'100 years of work', MP claims
Saturday 25th April 2009, Bridgwater Mercury
WEST Somerset residents could be in line for 100 years of guaranteed employment.
That is the view of West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger following last week's announcement that Hinkley Point has been chosen as a potential site for new nuclear build.
He told the County Gazette that plans would bring "jobs and prosperity in a time of recession".
As reported last week, Ministers short-listed 11 sites across England and Wales , including Hinkley, where a new generation of nuclear power stations could be built.
EDF Energy, which owns Hinkley, said the site had great potential for a nuclear build and promised full consultation with the community over the plants.
But anti-nuclear groups this week condemned the plans.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said: "The guys at Hinkley and the council have worked their socks off to secure this. It will bring jobs and prosperity in a time of recession.
"This is 100 years' worth of work, given that it will take 15 years to build, will be in operation for 60 years and the rest will be decommissioning.
"Our little area has landed one of the biggest civil engineering projects for quite some time."
A month-long consultation process on Hinkley and the ten other locations will now begin before a final decision is made - and the Government wants the first reactors operational by 2018.
Jim Duffy, from the Stop Hinkley campaign, said Hinkley was the wrong site and nuclear power was the wrong answer to Britain 's energy problems.
Mr Duffy also claimed the new reactor would pose increased health risks to the surrounding area.
Last year the County Gazette reported that 4,000 short-term jobs and 700 permanent posts could be created if plans are approved.