Stop Hinkley Press Release - 21 January 2014
Glastonbury Council Opposes Hinkley C
Campaigners against a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset have welcomed a Glastonbury Town Council decision to oppose the government's flagship energy project. "With concern growing elsewhere about plans to store nuclear waste from other sites at Hinkley Point, it seems that a good few of our local representatives are waking up to the glaring shortcomings of the Hinkley C plans." claimed Karin Dredi of Glastonbury's Southwest Against Nuclear group (SWAN).
On Tuesday 14th Jan, Glastonbury 's 16-strong Town Council approved a resolution calling on other Somerset councils to join their public stand against the Hinkley new-build project. In a heated debate, retired firefighter and former mayor Ian Tucker decried the lack of any long-term solution to the nuclear waste problem and highlighted the possibility of a future nuclear industrial accident at Hinkley Point, which could lead to the irradiation of the whole county. He suggested that harnessing the world's second highest tidal range in the Bristol Channel would be a far safer and cleaner way for Somerset to contribute to UK power generation.
Other councillors were concerned about the increasing frequency of major floods and storm surges, and the impact that EDF's heavy construction traffic would have on Glastonbury . However, Conservative members rejected the resolution and there were 5 Conservative abstentions. Earlier, the meeting had noted "the repeated failure" of EDF to provide a speaker to address a Glastonbury public meeting on the development, despite 2 formal requests from the Town Council over the past 12 months.
Stop Hinkley campaigner and East Pennard resident Theo Simon, who had also been invited to speak by the Town Council, was pleased with the decision but said he was not surprised.
"For all their talk about consultation, stakeholder dialogue, transparency and whatnot, EDF showed enormous disrespect to the town by ignoring council requests to come and answer local questions and concerns. I guess that's because these are the questions that the nuclear industry can never answer. The unthinkable risk of a nuclear accident cannot be quantified, and there is no end in sight for the waste problem - beyond turning West Somerset into a second Sellafield.
"I expect other Somerset residents will be pressuring their own councils to adopt similar resolutions. David Cameron may want nuclear at any price, but the project still only exists in the imagination of planners and foreign investors. It is by no means too late for public pressure to halt the Hinkley juggernaut."