Stop Hinkley Press release:

Taunton meeting to question need for nuclear

A public meeting in Taunton will discuss the need for a new generation of nuclear power stations, currently under consultation by the Government's energy review team. Friends of the Earth senior nuclear campaigner, Roger Higman, will head a threesome of speakers who will deliver arguments in favour of bridging the energy gap with renewables coupled with energy conservation.

The Government is concerned that Climate Change needs urgent attention and recent gas price rises have also ratcheted up calls for more nuclear power stations at sites such as Hinkley Point. But the top environmental groups, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund for Nature are agreed that nuclear is not the answer.

Two weeks ago the Sustainable Development Commission declared that carbon reductions will be achieved more cheaply and effectively with renewable energy, showing that even doubling nuclear capacity could only save eight percent of our carbon emissions with a Government target of 60 percent reduction by 2050. They criticised large scale centralised energy production, which wastes two thirds of electricity produced, in favour of micro-generation, where homes and districts produce their own heat and electricity. They also submitted that energy efficiency could reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent at no net cost to consumers.

Joining Mr Higman will be Hugh Richards from Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance who will question the safety of the proposed new reactors and Exeter based Rachel Ruffle from Renewable Energy Systems Ltd who have built wind-farms all over the world. The meeting is one of a series also being held in Somerset towns of Watchet, Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater.

Jim Duffy, from local campaign group Stop Hinkley who is hosting the meeting, said: "Climate change needs our urgent attention but nuclear is the wrong answer. It would cost much more, only fractionally solve one problem but create many more."

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