West Somerset Free Press Friday 21st January 2011

A spokesman for EDF said the “serious and quite incredible allegations” not only had the potential to cause public anxiety but were untrue.

“There is no credible mechanism for enriched uranium to be present on the proposed development site as claimed by Green Audit.

“The only source of enriched uranium is the fuel that is used in the twin reactors at Hinkley Point B power station.

This material is delivered in an extremely safe and secure manner in sealed containers and then loaded safely into the reactors as fuel.

All of this material is accounted for and there is no possibility whatsoever of this being present on the C site land,” he said.

The Environment Agency said it intended to look into Green Audit's report in detail but preliminary investigations had cast doubt on its claims.

An agency spokesman said: ”Our preliminary review indicates that Green Audit has drawn conclusions that are not statistically accurate and that the data relating to the site have been misinterpreted.

“We believe that the data presented in the recent planning application for the site shows levels of natural radioactivity and traces of manmade radioactivity on the site are typical of those found in the UK .

We, the Health and Safety Executive and other organisations subject the existing power stations at Hinkley Point to stringent regulation.

We and others carry our routine discharge and environmental monitoring which would easily detect losses of the alleged quantities of uranium.”

EDF said that “despite the impossibility of enriched uranium being present as alleged” it had also investigated Green Audit's claims.

The spokesman said the group had interpreted data within surveys conducted on behalf of EDF, but claimed its results were wrong.

He said: “The analysis by Green Audit is scientifically flawed because it uses measurements without taking any account of the level of uncertainty and in doing so derives a result which is actually meaningless.

“A basic rule of scientific analysis is always to take into account the level of uncertainty in a measurement when using it to calculate another quantity.

If Green Audit had taken notice of the uncertainties in the measurements, they would have concluded that the answers were entirely consistent with the detection of naturally occurring uranium.

This failure has resulted in Green Audit making accusations that no reputable scientific analysis would support.”

He accused the group of being “grossly irresponsible” and added: “It should be noted that detailed environmental surveys have been taken around the Hinkley Point site for over 50 years by the independent organisations like the Environment Agency and Food Standards Agency, as well as by the power station operators.

No evidence has been found to substantiate the most recent allegations or to support the health impact claims made repeatedly by Chris Busby.”


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Page Updated 24-Jan-2011