Press Release 29 July 2011

Stop Hinkley: West Somerset Councillors Could Live to Regret Groundworks Approval

The decision by West Somerset Council to approve major groundworks at Hinkley Point [1] has allowed energy company EdF to "jump the gun" on its plans for a nuclear power station, the Stop Hinkley campaign said today.

"This is like giving a developer permission to excavate a greenfield site even before they have permission to build the actual houses," said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey. "What will those Councillors say to the people of West Somerset in two years' time, with massive holes in the ground lined with concrete and a devastated wasteland - no trees, no hedges, no wildlife - and EDF says 'Sorry, we don't think it's worth going ahead'."

Stop Hinkley believes that, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the tide is turning strongly against nuclear power. An increasing number of countries are rejecting nuclear expansion plans, including Germany , the world's fourth largest economy. At the same time the costs of nuclear projects are rising, with EdF's Flamanville reactor in France now four years behind schedule and double its original cost. Only today, UK energy company Centrica - a partner with EdF in the Hinkley project - has announced that its involvement "is by no means a done deal" [2].

Collecting petition signatures outside the Council meeting in Williton yesterday, Stop Hinkley campaigners found that, even in an area where many people are employed at the existing Hinkley power station, a majority were against EdF's proposed "Hinkley C" plant.

© Mark Haworth-Booth

All these factors put a big question mark over whether the proposed power station at Hinkley Point will ever be built.

Stop Hinkley will continue to protest about EdF's plans, pointing out that nuclear power is both unsafe and not needed for this country to progress towards a future of low carbon power generation.


Note to Editors:

  1. West Somerset Council's Planning Committee voted yesterday to approve "preparatory works" including the clearance of most vegetation, hedges and trees from the 420 acre site, the excavation of more than 2 million cubic metres of soil and rocks, the re-routing of underground streams, the creation of roads and roundabouts, major changes to the landscape and the start of deep excavations for the power station foundations. All this would be carried out before the developer, EdF, has permission to construct the power station itself.

  2. "Centrica says no done deal as profits halve", Daily Telegraph, 29 July 2011 .


For more information: Crispin Aubrey, Press Officer, Stop Hinkley campaign



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Page Updated 29-Jul-2011