Shut Oldbury Press Release

23 January 2009

Government nuclear clean-up firm nominates Oldbury for new nuclear build

Shut Oldbury campaigners reacted with shock and surprise at the nomination of Oldbury as a site for a new nuclear power station.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority today announced the nomination of four UK sites for purchasers to build new nuclear power stations on, including Oldbury in South Gloucestershire where an existing corroded forty year old reactor has recently been given a two year life extension.

Jim Duffy, Coordinator of the Shut Oldbury campaign said: "We told the Government there are health risks linked to the existing plant and building the world's biggest reactor, the French European Pressurised Reactor is only likely to add to the local cancer and leukaemia toll as it will pour more radioactive waste into the River Severn. Studies we commissioned in 2001 showed an eleven-fold increase in leukaemia in nearby Chepstow, fifty percent extra breast cancers downstream of Oldbury and 37.5 percent extra prostate cancers downwind of the plant."

"The other risks are from terrorism. A fully fuel-laden airliner diverted from Bristol or Cardiff airports could cause unthinkable damage to a big target such as a nuclear plant. The emergency arrangements would be totally inadequate. At the Three Mile Island accident in the USA only ten percent of the medical force stayed at their posts. Everyone else was busy scooping up their children and fleeing in their cars."

"We're disappointed that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has gone completely beyond its remit of cleaning up nuclear sites. Not long ago their chiefs were saying they're not in the business of nuclear new build. This is a dirty betrayal."

"Even the Government's Sustainable Development Commission says that replacing all our old reactors will reduce carbon emissions by a feeble four percent. It's just not worth the £5 billion cost to build each reactor, of which the public will pick up some of the future bill."

"The reactor designs are undergoing safety assessments which will take two more years but this action is another step up the methodical but undemocratic process the Government and industry are jointly engaged in."

Jim Duffy, Shut Oldbury/Stop Hinkley Coordinator

 

Click here for our response to the Government's Strategic Siting Assessment consultation.

Friday 23 January 2009 12:29

Department of Energy and Climate Change (National)

Sellafield site in the running for next generation nuclear

  • NDA confirm they expect to nominate Sellafield, Wylfa, Oldbury and Bradwell as potential sites for new nuclear power stations;

  • Each station could bring 9,000 jobs during construction, 1000 skilled workers when operational and be worth £2bn to each region;

  • Government next week will call for nominations for new nuclear power station sites.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today confirmed that it expects Sellafield, together with Wylfa, Oldbury and Bradwell to be nominated as potential sites for new nuclear power stations. This could represent a massive multi-billion pound investment opportunity for these regions, as well as the wider UK economy.

The announcement comes as the Government prepares to launch the next step towards new nuclear, when on Tuesday it calls for potential sites to be nominated, and publishes the criteria it will use to assess the suitability of sites. This follows the recent £12.5bn investment by EdF in British Energy.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "Nuclear is crucial to our low carbon future; it is crucial to our energy security and at the same time it represents a massive opportunity for the UK economy and jobs. Industry are investing billions into the UK economy, jobs are being created and supply chain opportunities are developing.

"The NDA's announcement today on potential new build sites is good news and I am pleased to be here in Sellafield, to welcome this. During construction, each new station would bring as many as 9,000 jobs, create up to 1,000 skilled long-term jobs when operational, and be worth about £2 billion to the surrounding region and wider economy. With such deep-rooted ties to the nuclear industry Sellafield is in a strong position to benefit."

Minister of State for Energy Mike O'Brien said: "One year on since this Government took the decision that new nuclear power should have a role to play, we are making rapid progress. The call for potential sites is another key milestone. Of course we know Sellafield is a complex site and issues like grid connections need to be considered. But it is well placed to benefit from the UK 's nuclear renaissance; it is home to our nuclear skills, home to our nuclear expertise and home to many of our key facilities. Like all sites, the suitability of Sellafield will be assessed against the government's rigorous siting criteria.

"West Cumbria is already on the map as our Energy Coast . With their management of our nuclear legacy, with their interest in the Geological Disposal Facility, their interest in new nuclear and with their pioneering salt cavern gas storage project in Barrow we know they will continue to be in the future."

Notes to editors

  1. It is for energy companies to fund, develop and build new nuclear power stations in the UK , not the Government. This includes energy companies meeting the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management costs.

  2. Anyone can nominate a site, but nominations either have to be supported by a credible nuclear power operator or nominators have to demonstrate that this is a credible site for deployment by 2025. In both cases nominators must have raised awareness with local communities of their nomination.

  3. To be updated on developments of nuclear sites please email nuclearsitingupdate@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Client ref Reference: 2009/006
COI ref 169876P

 

 

 

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Page Updated 23-Jan-2009