Stop Hinkley Press Release
6 September 2007
Campaigners demand extra safety
Stop Hinkley campaigners have demanded extra safety measures at a proposed nuclear waste site at Hinkley Point.
Last night the cabinet of West Somerset Council discussed a proposal to apply for Government sweeteners as compensation for the acknowledged risk of building a low level waste disposal facility. Any proposed funds for community projects would be divided with Sedgemoor District Council.
But campaigners are concerned that the facility will be a radioactive dump which they oppose, instead of their preferred option of a repository where robust containers of radioactive waste would be monitored for centuries, allowing broken or leaking packages to be replaced individually.
Currently much low level waste from UK nuclear sites like Hinkley goes to a disposal facility at Drigg in Cumbria . But that site is filling fast, is incurring local opposition and may be subject to rising sea levels. Sending radioactive waste there also costs the industry £1,500 per barrel (1). Some other low level waste is incinerated on the Hinkley B site, with particles blown downwind.
Currently building an Intermediate Level Waste repository at Hinkley A has stalled due to lack of funding.
Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "We don't want to see radioactive waste simply shovelled into a concrete box and forgotten about. The waste should be properly packaged with provision for monitoring over the long life of the radiation. A concrete repository built on pillars would allow examination for leaks and might mitigate the risk of flooding."
He added: "These local radioactive dumps will be the model for Hinkley B when it shuts down, then Hinkley C if it gets built, including its much more dangerous spent fuel. Any compensation for this would be spread very thinly throughout the local community, although it is an acknowledgement that there is a health risk from low level radiation. But it would be much better to stop producing nuclear waste in the first place."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07968 974 805
(1) 2003 figures for sending Low level Waste to the Drigg site.