Stop Hinkley Press Release

9th March 2009

Justifying the unjustifiable

Stop Hinkley has supported calls from a group of academics for an inquiry into the issue of 'Justification' for new reactors such as Hinkley C.

Currently the government is conducting a public consultation on the balance between advantages of operating nuclear reactors and the disadvantages of linked health effects. But Secretary of State Ed Milliband will decide the outcome despite his public support for nuclear power. Stop Hinkley supports calls for a public inquiry on the issue to allow full scrutiny of the arguments.

Stop Hinkley will be contributing to the consultation and has amassed a wealth of research (click here for more) on the health effects of Hinkley Point discharges on local populations on the coastline near Hinkley and downwind in Burnham-on-Sea. But international evidence is also mounting following the Chernobyl accident in 1986 (click here for more). And routine discharges seem responsible for a doubling of childhood leukaemia near every nuclear power station in Germany, according to a Government sponsored study last year (click here for more).

The German study looks at health effects within five kilometres of Pressurised Water Reactors which are the same type as is proposed at Hinkley although a different model. The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) will be the largest nuclear reactor in the world and French energy giant EdF proposes to build two such reactors at the coastal site, which is likely to add to the existing breast cancer and infant mortality which has been found in research Stop Hinkley has commissioned.

Last week EdF officially nominated Hinkley Point as a site under the Government's Site Selection Assessment process.

Once the 'Justification' consultation has been decided by Ed Milliband, the future Infrastructure Planning Commission which conducts local planning inquiries under the Government's new planning laws, will consider the matter dealt with and not allow it to be raised at the local Hinkley Inquiry. Ordinary local people who know nothing of this consultation will have no platform to have a say on their future health risk.

Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "The Government should do this properly and fairly. There's a clear conflict of interest in Ed Milliband promoting nuclear power in one breath then signing off on this crucial issue which affects the health of Somerset (and for Oldbury - Gloucestershire) residents. Once he makes a judgement the health issue can no longer count in the deliberately short local planning inquiries which are due to follow, which deal with local environmental matters. This is grossly unfair."

Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator

 

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Under European Union regulations, companies hoping to build a nuclear facility must show the benefits outweigh the potential health risks - this is known as the Justification Process.

The Nuclear Consultation Group, a group of academics and experts with specialist knowledge on nuclear power and energy have called for the Government to hold an inquiry into the 'Justification' of new reactors.

Click here to read more

Page Updated 09-Mar-2009