Press release 29 April 2013

Stop Hinkley email survey published:
“Many County Candidates say NO to Hinkley waste”

As many as a third of County Council Candidates in Somerset seem to believe that Hinkley C should not be built unless the problem of radioactive waste has been resolved, according to local pressure group “Stop Hinkley”. Campaigners today published the results of an email survey of Party hopefuls for the May 2 elections on Thursday, which asked the candidates their views on the future of hazardous waste from Hinkley C in the west of the county.

"We had enquiries from electors but we didn't know where the different candidates stood.” said Theo Simon of East Pennard . “We found whatever email addresses we could online and sent out 3 questions. The results are not scientific, as some of the candidates may not have seen the email yet, but they will be useful for voters looking for candidates prepared to speak up on the nuclear waste issue”.

EDF's waste from the proposed Hinkley C plant has become an issue since Cumbria County Council rejected plans for a “Geological Disposal facility”(GDF) under the Lake District earlier this year. “There is currently no final safe destination for the waste, which must be kept away from people for thousands of years, and there is little chance of any other county volunteering to become one” says Stop Hinkley.

"As it stands right now, the final destination for Hinkley C's waste is…Hinkley C,” said Mr Simon. “That means that West Somerset is set to become a radioactive waste skip if Hinkley C starts generating. All our descendants in this county will be affected by this decision. We asked candidates if they thought that Hinkley C should be built before there is a solution on the table”.

The campaign says that they have had 20 individual responses so far and 3 regarding county-wide policy for all of a party's candidates. They have not been able to email the Independents, but would like to.

"Greens, who have 24 candidates, gave the most responses (11), and their party has a policy of opposing the new development on waste and other grounds already,” said Mr Simon. So far, 7 Labour candidates out of 58 have also responded and all said No. “For Labour it's down to individual opinion, as they are divided over this issue”. 2 Lib-Dems also voted “No” out of 58 candidates, but Election Agent Alvin Pitcombe wrote “The last Lib Dem administration at the County Council had a policy of NO new nuclear proliferation in Somerset ”.

A Ukip representative said that their policy would be No to the waste, but they believed that a GDF was already in the process of being dug. No Conservative candidates responded.

The poll asked them:
1) If they thought that Somerset should become the host for a permanent radioactive waste site at Hinkley C.
2) If, as County Councillors , they would volunteer Somerset as the site for the deep disposal of Britain's nuclear waste.
3) If they thought that Hinkley C should be built before we know there is somewhere to dispose of the waste.

"The answers from candidates and parties indicate that the Greens in every county division will oppose Hinkley C going any further. Many Labour candidates will also oppose it, including candidates with Hinkley C on their doorstep, but not all. Some LibDems are very strong in their resolve as well, but as with Labour, an unknown number may support the development whether the waste problem is solved or not. Voters will need to check for themselves. Ukip candidates also theoretically oppose. Conservatives have not expressed an opinion.”

The group say voters can check the results on-line at the stophinkley.org website, http://stophinkley.org/Temporary/Elections2013.html and see if any candidates from their Division have responded yet. They expect more responses and also intend to publish candidates comments on the issue before Thursday's election.

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Page Updated 30-Apr-2013