8 September 2010
Protest at Hinkley Point
Campaigners will protest at Hinkley Point on Sunday lunchtime against plans to destroy many acres of open countryside well in advance of major consents being agreed for two proposed nuclear reactors.
The protest is part of an 'Action Weekend' of activities which includes a day of talks and workshops for campaigners and a disco evening. The Saturday workshop includes national speakers Ben Ayliffe from Greenpeace, Neil Crumpton from the Bellona Institute and formerly Friends of the Earth and Professor Chris Busby of Green Audit.
Stop Hinkley has invited local and regional groups and individuals to demonstrate outside the gates of Hinkley at midday, carrying banners and placards opposing the destruction. Then a guided tour will take place of the green areas which will be bulldozed, dynamited and concreted over, a mock nuclear 'boffin' pointing out the wildlife habitats which will be lost. The tour will finish with a picnic at the shoreline where a new jetty is proposed.
EdF, who propose to build not just one but two giant European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) on the 435 acre site, have already cemented over badger setts on the land (- see attached photos). It is believed that Natural England's licence conditions for blocking the setts have not been met as alternative artificial setts had not been provided alongside the existing ones. Signs alongside the cemented setts seem to imply these were man-made boreholes but their irregular nature and slanted angles suggest otherwise. Stop Hinkley has written to Natural England over this matter.
Concerns over the proposed EPRs include:
Concerns about the proposed 'Preliminary Works' include:
EdF says it will “restore” the site to its original state if it does not receive planning permission for the power station. It is impossible to recreate a landscape that has taken hundreds of years to mature.
Protected Areas and Wildlife Under Threat:
Stop Hinkley campaign history:
Stop Hinkley has been campaigning against nuclear power for over twenty years, running an office at the Cannington public inquiry over Hinkley C in 1988-89 and holding many demonstrations at the time. Hinkley Point A was shut down prematurely in 2000 following a concerted Stop Hinkley campaign against the health effects of the power station and engineering defects in the reactors. BNFL chief Norman Askew admitted the shut-down was because of a loss of public confidence due to the campaign. Potentially dangerous cracks in Hinkley B's reactor core have also been highlighted by the group who are still pursuing a year-long Freedom of Information Act request on why the reactor only has two instead of three shut-down systems.
Jim Duffy from Stop Hinkley said: "We're highlighting the fact this plan to prepare for two giant reactors will be devastating for wildlife and is completely premature. EdF are a long way from getting their major consents for the project. They should back off from nuclear and concentrate on saner energy forms like renewables. We welcome people who agree to come and join us at the protest."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07798 666756