Press Release 21 July 2011 

Stop Hinkley Condemns Council Recommendation to Approve EDF Preparatory Work on Hinkley C Power Station

The Stop Hinkley campaign has condemned West Somerset Council planners' decision to recommend approval for "preparatory works" on EDF's proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

If granted permission by the Council's Planning Committee next week, EDF will effectively be allowed to start the pre-construction of "Hinkley C". Their plans include clearing over 400 acres of land of all vegetation and trees and excavating massive holes where the reactors would be sited. The amount of soil and rocks to be excavated is more than was dug up for the London Olympic Games.

This work would be carried out in advance of EDF applying for permission to build Hinkley C itself or even receiving approval from UK safety authorities for its new reactor design.

"West Somerset Council has been forced into recommending approval for this application by misguided national policy in favour of nuclear power," said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey . "After the Fukushima accident in Japan , the government should be pausing to consider the lessons rather than ploughing mindlessly ahead. Germany and other countries are showing that a non-nuclear renewable future is feasible - we should be following their lead."

Stop Hinkley supporters will be present outside West Somerset Council offices in Williton from 9.00am on Thursday 28 July to encourage members of the Planning Committee to reject EDF's application. Campaign supporters have also applied to address the meeting.

The campaign objects to EDF's preparatory works because:

  • There is no certainty that EDF will go ahead with building Hinkley C, partly for financial reasons. The pre-cursor power station at Flamanville in France is now four years behind schedule and its cost has almost doubled to £6 billion. 1

  • If the French company does not gain approval for the power station from the Infrastructure Planning Commission, over 400 acres of beautiful countryside will have been needlessly trashed. It is nonsense, as EDF claims, that it could be returned to anything approaching its original state.

  • The amount of time allegedly to be saved - about a year - is insignificant compared with the overall timescale of building nuclear plants of up to 10 years. This is simply an exercise in EDF "jumping the gun".

  • There is no energy gap which cannot be filled by other means, as nuclear supporters claim. Other non-nuclear power stations can be built faster and cheaper while we move towards a safer, cleaner future based on renewable sources.

  • Any supposed economic benefits to the area from this work will be outweighed by the disruption it will cause. The Planning Officer's report accepts, for example, that the employment benefits are "likely to be relatively small. compared to the local impacts".

 

Ends/

Notes:

1. Financial Times , 21 July www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eded8aec-b2f4-11e0-86b8-00144feabdc0.html

 

For more information: Crispin Aubrey, Press Officer, Stop Hinkley campaign [click here]

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Page Updated 23-Jul-2011