Stop Hinkley Press Release - 22 January 2014

NDA consultation on Intermediate level Waste Stores and Fuel Element Debris fails to talk to potentially affected communities

Stop Hinkley today slammed the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's consultation on Storage and Disposal plans for Intermediate Level Waste & Nuclear Fuel Element Debris.

Campaigner Nikki Clark was highly critical of the consultation which ends on the 31st January [1], saying "So far the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have chosen to talk only to a very limited group of stakeholders via nuclear power station based site stakeholder groups, namely the chairs of the site stakeholder groups (SSG).

When asked if the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) had discussed their plans with communities that would be impacted by the transport of highly toxic nuclear waste, Bill Hamilton of the NDA said that they hadn't, explaining that "this consultation isn't a statutory consultation" and that it is the NDA "doing more' than they have to.[2]

Spokeswoman Nikki Clark said "We feel that the range of stakeholders that the NDA is talking to is far too narrow. What Mr Hamilton explained to us about how the consultation process is being conducted, means that the public haven't been involved at a stage where all the options are on the table and they can influence the decisions about the waste."

She added "The Aarhus convention Article 6 para 4 states that 'Each Party shall provide for early public participation, when all options are open and effective public participation can take place.' The reason for this is so that the public can be involved in choosing among the available options when it comes to issues that will affect people and their environments. We disagree with Mr Hamilton's claim that the NDA were going beyond their statutory duty. We believe that the failure of the NDA to fully inform and involve the public, and particularly communities that would be affected by the transport of nuclear waste, means that the NDA are doing far less than intended by the Aarhus Convention. How much money have the NDA saved themselves by failing to properly consult all of the potentially affected Stakeholders? The NDA are just talking to people that they have identified as 'key' stakeholders. To conduct a proper consultation on these issues which seeks the views of all those affected by their plans, as well as anyone who expresses an interest, would no doubt cost considerably more than the box-ticking exercises they currently carry out."

When asked when the statutory consultation will take place Mr Hamilton said that statutory consultation will take place as part of the planning process once the NDA have made some 'final decisions' about their preferred option. Stop Hinkley would like to encourage the public to reject the NDA proposals on the grounds that they have failed to fully involve the public at the appropriate time. Ms Clark added "The NDA need to go back to the drawing board about how they involve the public in consultations about hazardous radiological and chemical wastes produced here in the UK."

** ENDS **

For interview or comment please call Nikki Clark on 07736930069

Notes to editors


  2. Quote from phone call with Bill Hamilton of NDA on 22/01/14

  3. The Aarhus convention protects the rights of the public to participate in Environmental decision-making



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