Hinkley plans welcomed by Burnham's MP

Burnham Weekly News, Wednesday 11th November 2009

THOUSANDS of school-leavers in the Burnham area could get new job opportunities after plans for another Hinkley Point nuclear power station took a massive leap forward this week.

Hinkley Point has been included on a government shortlist of ten sites in England and Wales where new nuclear power plants can be built.

The announcement should pave the way for energy firm EDF to submit a formal planning application next summer to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point.

Burnham and Highbridge MP David Heathcoat-Amory believes the decision presents a 'real opportunity' for the future of local industry.

He told the Weekly News: "If the reactors eventually get permission it will create 4,000 jobs during the construction phase which we can take advantage of here in Burnham and Highbridge.

"I think this is a real opportunity to set Somerset up as a centre of excellence for nuclear engineering."

But Mr Heathcoat-Amory issued a word of caution, adding: "Safety must be a priority, no shortcuts or risks must be taken - but I believe it can be done."

EDF hailed the government's decision as a "defining moment on the road to secure, affordable and low carbon energy for UK consumers".

The firm hopes to build four reactors, two each at Hinkley and Sizewell - which it says would power ten million homes and could be operational by 2017.

However, Stop Hinkley campaigners say the fast-track planning system used by the government for major projects such as Hinkley could leave local people out of the decision-making process.

The group has also called for a public inquiry into the justification for new nuclear power stations.


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Page Updated 13-Nov-2009