Stop Hinkley Press Release

4th December 2012

Reactor Extension Risks Another Fukushima

The decision to extend the life of Hinkley B reactor in West Somerset by 7 years from 2016 has been condemned by local campaigners, who say it mirrors mistakes made at Fukushima, weeks before the accident there.

Press spokesperson from the Stop Hinkley campaign Theo Simon said, "This decision to prop up the aging and cracked reactor at Hinkley B well past it's sell-by date is potentially very hazardous for all of us. EDF and Centrica may want to squeeze every last drop of profit out of it, but the potential for a nuclear mishap at Hinkley B increases exponentially with age. We should remember that the oldest of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi had been given a 10 year life-extension by government regulators just weeks before the tsunami caused cracked diesel generators to fail leading to a collapse of the cooling system."

"The recent flooding around Hinkley was a foretaste of the weather chaos we can expect in the next decades, and makes the site - on the edge of the second highest tidal range in the world - increasingly vulnerable, and potentially inaccessible in an emergency."""EDF are obviously concerned about delays in their new Hinkley C project which mean that even if it gets the rubber stamp from government next year, there would be no new generation on site until the early 20s. It now looks increasingly likely that they may not raise the private investment they need to complete the project - especially following news that their work on a new plant in Flamanville is now 250% over budget at 8.5 billion euros. This announcement about Hinkley B is designed to give a sense of moving forward, when in reality the nuclear project is stalling."

"It is only the complicity of government departments that is now keeping this project alive. We believe that the Office of Nuclear Regulation is under immense political pressure to keep EDF happy and is now rubber stamping decisions which could be catastrophic for Somerset and for future generations. We don't need old nuclear and we don't need new nuclear - we need a renewables revolution in the southwest."

ENDS

Contact: Theo Simon [Click Here]

21 Mar 11: Japan Extended Reactor's Life, Despite Warning: Just a month before a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the center of Japan's nuclear crisis, government regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest of the six reactors at the power station despite warnings about its safety. More >>>

 

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