Stop Hinkley Press Release
2nd October 2008
Top consultant to voice concerns over new Hinkley reactors
The UK 's leading independent nuclear engineer, John Large of Large & Associates, will speak at a public meeting in Bridgwater on Monday 13 th October.
John Large (Note 1) has written extensive reports evaluating the new Generation III reactor plant likely to be built at Hinkley, this being the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) favoured by the 85% French government owned utility EDF who plan to build two reactors alongside the existing nuclear site at Hinkley.
EDF's recent increased bid for British Energy has been accepted by the company's board and awaits the shareholders' decision. The takeover paves the way for EDF to build two giant 1600 megawatt reactors at the Hinkley site.
John Large has expounded his views on the EPR to the Guernsey government, just a few miles across the bay from Flamanville in Normandy where the EPR is currently under construction; he has evaluated and reported on the licensing arrangements for the EPR also under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland; challenged to AREVA-EDF claim that the EPR containment is 'terrorist-proof'; and he has presented an assessment of the aftermath of a moderate to severe radioactive release from an EPR sited at Sizewell in Suffolk to the Site Stakeholder Group.
John Large will present his analysis of the risk of a radioactive release from these proposed nuclear plants at Hinkley - he will do so in terms of the probability of accident or malicious action and then relate how the increased burn-up of the fuel, compared to the present AGR reactors operating at Hinkley, will place considerable challenges on the present off-site emergency planning arrangements (REPPIR) which are the responsibility of Somerset County Council, demonstrating that an expended REPPIR resource simply could not cope with even a moderate incident and radioactive release from an operating EPR.
In his fully illustrated presentation, John Large will utilise the latest satellite tracking data to show the path and timing of a radioactive release dispersing from a crippled EPR at Hinkley and, from this, he will project the numbers of public requiring evacuation, sheltering and subsequent medical care.
John Large said: "This French Generation III reactor technology is extremely ambitious: To meet the levels of acceptable risk and tolerable off-site consequences, the French designers need to overcome some very real engineering and systems challenges to satisfy their claim that the EPR will be the equivalent of the l'insubmersible Titanic - a claim that EDF has not substantiated and the validity of which I very much doubt ."
Jim Duffy from Stop Hinkley said: "It's a crucial time for the local area. There is firm evidence that the majority of those who agree to having the new giant reactors do so reluctantly (Note 2). The public should come and hear this highly qualified nuclear consultant who has deep qualms about plans that will affect us all for generations to come."
The public meeting will be held on Monday 13th October at 7.30pm at the British Legion Club, Castle Street, Bridgwater. All are welcome.
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley CoordinatorClick here for a Summary of John Large's presentation.
Our public meeting is timed to occur just before a series of six local meetings organised by British Energy on the siting of new reactors at Hinkley. The Government (DBERR) has stipulated that nuclear operators must consult with the local public as part of their national consultation on the factors for deciding on new nuclear sites. See Events Page for info.
They have listed some criteria as either 'exclusionary' or 'discretionary' to assess whether any particular site should go forward to the next stage and be considered for local consideration by the Infrastructure planning Commission. The IPC replaces the previous Public Inquiry such as the Hinkley C inquiry in 1988-89.
DBERR hopes to announce the new criterion at the end of the year, inviting potential operators or builders to nominate specific sites next year. The decided sites are expected to be formally announced in 2010.
The proposed criteria are as follows:
Exclusionary: (ruling out a site for new build)
Both : Proximity to military activities
The meeting organisers, Stop Hinkley and Sedgemoor and West Somerset Green Party, will be urging the public to write to DBERR with their views. The consultation papers can be downloaded at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/consultations/page47143.html Closing date for responses is November 11th.