Stop Hinkley Press Release
8th January 2008
Anger at Cabinet nuclear decision
Stop Hinkley campaigners have responded with anger at today's Cabinet decision to support a new generation of nuclear power stations, in advance of the expected announcement of the Energy white Paper and Nuclear Bill on Thursday lunch-time.
But the local group poses the question -Just what's new in the government's pledge? Margaret Thatcher made the similar announcement, shortly after taking office, that ten new reactors would be built. Fifteen years later only one reactor had been built at nearly double the original cost. There has been nothing to prevent utility companies building nuclear power plants but none have done so due to the overwhelming economic difficulties. And the Government is still promising that no public subsidies will go to supporting the project.
In a Guardian article  the Government was said to have agreed to hike electricity prices to pay for a nuclear decommissioning fund despite Gordon Brown having said the industry must pay these costs itself. Current nuclear 'legacy' decommissioning costs run at £70 billion despite freezes on Hinkley and Berkeley clean-up operations. British Energy decommissioning costs payable by the taxpayer are £5.2 billion. Many expect that the Government will work around its earlier promises in order to guarantee subsidies to the industry.
A new report published today points out that the Government's case for new nuclear build does not hold water. Tom Burke CBE, of Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) makes the following insights:
Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "A Hinkley C cannot be built before 2020, even with new undemocratic planning laws, so how can it help the energy gap expected by 2015? Nor would it help with climate change as the Government predicted a whole fleet of reactors would save just four per cent of our carbon emissions. The difficult decision Gordon Brown is forcing on us is also the wrong one."
"It's especially galling as local families will be contemplating the risks to their safety and health brought about by this unnecessary technology. Clean renewables and energy conservation driven by a committed Government are a better, quicker and cheaper answer."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07968 974805