Stop Hinkley Press Release
18 October 2013
EDF-China deal "reeks of despair"
West Somerset MP Mr Liddell-Grainger has called it "excellent" news, but far from being good for Somerset, George Osborne's deal with China Nuclear "reeks of despair", according to local campaigners. They say that, having failed to attract any private investors, our "most sensitive and hazardous industry" is now being handed over to non accountable third-party state powers, because otherwise the Tories energy strategy would collapse.
"The coalition have no plan B for meeting UK energy demand, so they now want EDF's Hinkley C development to be completed at any cost, even if that means relying on the century-long good will of a totalitarian state." said Theo Simon of the Stop Hinkley group.
"This whole project was sold to us on the basis of local jobs, affordable electricity, British energy security and the need to bridge the so-called "energy gap" in 2020 with low-carbon generation. Now the Hinkley C project will fail on every count - except to line the pockets of foreign investors at our expense in what some people are calling "The Great Chinese Takeaway".
Mr Simon said that news about the latest developments in the delayed project had provided "a much-needed reality check."
"On jobs, it turns out that only 20% of the workforce will be local labour, and the majority of that work will be in "muck shifting", according to the commercial director for EDF's nuclear new build, Ken Owen.
"Their paymasters will be French and Chinese state corporations, and our "energy security" will be in their hands, as will the centres of our most sensitive and hazardous industry, with the Chinese government potentially having the controlling stake in nuclear on this island in future.
"Hinkley C won't even help us through any impending energy shortfall - or keep down energy bills: The project can't start delivering energy now until 2025 at the earliest, at which point we will all be tied into paying artificially rigged bills for the next 4 decades to guarantee the investor's profits.
"The whole construction project will be underwritten by 10 billion more of our money, and provided the untested new reactor gets through to the end of it's operational life without an accident, the future generations of Somerset people - our grandchildren - will be left with a legacy of waste which is fatally toxic. That is an unresolved problem which these foreign state corporations - if they even still exist in 2100 - will not necessarily feel inclined to deal with, whatever assurances a handful of ageing executives might give to the desperate bureaucrats at DECC and DEFRA today.
"Despite West Somerset MP Mr Liddell-Grainger saying that the China deal is "excellent" news, our local representatives and workers must be realizing that we have been sold a lie. But with a year and a half to go before construction work can begin, there is still time for the people of Somerset and the country as a whole to reject the Tories plan for new nuclear at any price".