Stop Hinkley Press Release, 26 June 2013
Plans for "second Sellafield" in Somerset?
Plans for radioactive waste from across the country to be stored and treated in Somerset could be "the thin end of a toxic wedge" according to local campaigners.
"The proposal to bring Nuclear fuel debris and other waste from old power plants to Hinkley Point is a very worrying development" said Theo Simon of the Stop Hinkley group. "If the plan goes forward, it will normalize the idea of West Somerset becoming a second Sellafield. The authorities will then be one step closer to saying that High Level Waste and spent fuel from EDF's new Hinkley C plant can stay in the county forever".
Speaking ahead of a full West Somerset council meeting to discuss the proposal on Wednesday, Mr Simon said that local Councillors should be commended for raising the alarm about the prospect of a growing nuclear dump at Hinkley A, and the hazard to public health of transporting more radioactive waste through the county. Councillors have also said that the proposal would damage Somerset 's reputation as a tourist destination with potentially damaging effects on the local economy.
When the proposals emerged earlier this month there was anger that neither West Somerset Council, Stogursey residents or Sedgemoor District Council had been directly asked for their views by the NDA. District councillors only discovered the proposals by chance and after putting pressure on the NDA have managed to extend a consultation deadline to June 30.
Council planning manager Andrew Goodchild said that although there had not been adequate time for proper consultation, Stogursey, Kilve and Williton parish councils have all now objected, as has the county council and neighbouring Sedgemoor .
Responding to assurances from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)that Hinkley A was merely one of several options they were considering and there would only need to be a full consultation once the options had been whittled down, Mr Simon said, " Somerset people aren't stupid. Our experience with the way plans for Hinkley C were steam-rollered through has shown that once they tell you it's a preferred option, their "transparent engagement" and "consultation" amounts to local people having to watch PR presentations about a decision which has already been made elsewhere. Somerset people need to be asked at the outset if we even think this option of turning our county into a second Sellafield should be considered."
"Stop Hinkley have always objected to nuclear power on the grounds of the toxic waste legacy, and we have warned that EDF's Hinkley C project can only add to the problem. It is because EDF have no credible plan for disposing of the waste from Hinkley C that the stalled project now faces a legal challenge from Greenpeace".
"We are deeply concerned that any acceptance now of new toxic waste being imported into Hinkley Point will be used in future to let Hinkley C off the hook over it's lack of any long term destination for it's spent fuel. The most toxic waste product in human history will be destined to sit on the West Somerset coast forever, along with all the waste from already redundant power plants which will be shipped into the county if the NDA's proposals are not roundly rejected".
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Contact: Theo Simon, 07455 325961