Press Release 1 July 2011
“Government Tried to Play Down Effects of Japanese Accident” – Stop Hinkley Campaign
The Stop Hinkley campaign will be raising the issue of the dangerously cosy relationship between the nuclear industry and the government at a meeting in London next week. This follows revelations that government officials tried to play down the potential effect of the Fukushima accident in Japan on the UK 's nuclear ambitions.
A number of organisations representing the anti-nuclear movement, including Stop Hinkley, will be meeting the head of the Office of Nuclear Regulation, Mike Weightman, as well as officials from the Department of Energy's Office for Nuclear Development, at a meeting in London on Tuesday. They will be discussing the lessons to be learned from the events in Japan .
Private emails revealed in the Guardian newspaper today show that government officials asked the nuclear industry to play down the potential effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident. “This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally”, one message read. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this.” The emails were sent just two days after the accident in March, and before its full impact had become clear.
“This correspondence reveals that the government is hell bent on supporting the nuclear industry, whatever the facts,” said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey. “The Japanese accident has shown that a supposedly high tech industry cannot cope with the unexpected. Other countries like Germany have taken the lesson from Fukushima and halted nuclear expansion. This country should do the same and abandon all nuclear construction plans, including Hinkley C.”