23 May 2018:
Senedd Welsh Assembly, Cardiff: Report by Jo Smoldon
Chinks, Liz and I were pleased to represent Stop Hinkley at the Welsh Assembly on the Cardiff Water front, travelling over the bridge to help highlight the radioactive mud that was to be quietly dumped in Cardiff Bay with no recompense to the Welsh people.
There were orange radioactive fish, hazard suited silt samplers and some amazing placards giving the messages loud and clear: “No Test No Mud Dump, The Clock is Ticking, Stop Toxic Dumping, Keep Cardiff Bay Not Toxic Bay, Test Before Dumping, Stop Toxic Waste, Nuclear Waste is a Ticking Time Bomb,” as well as us in our waste barrels with the Stop Hinkley banner.
Tim Deere-Jones explained where the situation is at present and highlighted the fact that if 300 tons of mud had to be dumped on land it would cost £28 million, so why is it being dumped on the Welsh for free by EDF? The testing of the mud would be a fraction of the cost. He, and many others, have said how depth core samples are needed to reassure the public that appropriate testing has been carried out before the mud sediments are liberated into the environment. It is known that when contaminated silts dry out and blow in the wind, radioactive particles can be found up to 10 miles inland of the coast. One particle is too much and in itself a tremendous health risk.
Neil McEvoy Welsh Assembly minister has heard Tim’s briefing and is concerned that other ministers are not listening. He gave a rousing speech in which he recognised the seriousness of what is being proposed and highlighted that the way it is being handled shows a severe lack of democratic process. He is shocked by that.
Keep watching this story unfold as there are a huge number of people across the whole country appalled by what EDF are dictating over this mud issue and it is of course raising the awareness of how the Severn Estuary is contaminated with radioactivity from the workings of Hinkley Point past and present. New reactors will release even more into our environment. We don’t want Hinkley C. Alongside roughly 75% of the population we want more solar, wind farms and renewable energy production which does not leave this radioactive toxic legacy.
| 1 April 2018:
60 years CND: Stop Hinkley members jumped aboard the Bristol CND bus on Easter Sunday April 1st to join the throng of protesters going to AWE Aldermaston. . More >>>
|February 2018: Fukushima Exhibition in Taunton: It was a wonderful opportunity for Stop Hinkley to have Lis Fields Exhibition '20 millisieverts per year.' at the CIC centre Taunton to give us insight here in the West Country to the situation in Japan since the awful nuclear accident of Fukushima 2011. More >>>
| November 2017 Paris: The World Anti-Nuclear Social Forum: Two members went to Paris to represent Stop Hinkley and the UK at the 3rd Anti- Nuclear World Social Forum. There we met many passionate campaigners from countries all over the world concerned about the damage being done to the environment and health of their local communities by the nuclear industry. More >>>
| 2 Feb 2017: Report on HPC Community Forum Meeting: The Community Forum is made up of representatives from any local body with an interest in HPC. Parish, Town, District and County Councils are well represented, along with a number of EdeF folk. The ONR stopped attending when it became clear that it would be a while before there was anything nuclear on site to deal with. The Agenda is set by EdeF. More >>>
Flamanville Demo 1st October 2016
By Allan Jeffery
I’ve just recovered from an amazing weekend camping in Normandy where I represented Stop Hinkley to join SWAN members taking part in the massive French anti-nuclear demonstration at Siouville, near Flamanville, the problem EPR reactor which must start generating before Hinkley C can be built.
The French certainly know how to organise, camp, demonstrate and party!
Nikki, Zoe, Christine, Caroline and I camped in a field of clover, a very green vegan camp, attended discussion groups and a press conference and marched with estimates of between two and three thousand members of the French collectives along the beautiful coast line (similar to Cornwall) to the EPR reactor at Flamanville. It was an eventful weekend where we met many lovely, passionate French activists as well as the French Gendarmerie. A tiring but exciting weekend.
I have found two excellent reports, from reporters I met, which capture all my thoughts, feelings and discussions from the lively weekend I will never forget. One in English, the other in French you can get a reasonable google translation into English.
Meanwhile here are 2 videos I have found on You Tube, showing a good summary of the demonstration.
If you want to discover more details about the amazing work of the French anti- nuclear collectives on the internet, a good place to start would be to Google ‘Rassemblement 1er octobre 2016 Flamanville’ and then use the translator to English.
03 Sept 2016: Massive Attack concert
Much to our surprise the well known Bristol group, Massive Attack, invited Stop Hinkley to speak at their concert on the Downs in Bristol on Saturday September 3rd and to run a Stop Hinkley stall. As they are a band that headlines at Glastonbury Festival, we could not miss this opportunity! They have strong political views and the concert programme had a whole page about the Stop Hinkley campaign and a piece about our speaker Allan Jeffery. There were also pictures of Allan around the site advertising his talk!
Allan talked about how our campaign publicises our message and five reasons why Hinkley C should not go ahead: risk to national security, too expensive, technology not fit for purpose, unresolved waste problems and the reasons why the lights will not go out. This was backed by a brilliant set of pictures on the screen of our demos, actions, marches and camps.
We were very busy on our stall from 1pm until 7pm and we had some really interesting discussions. The discussions had a different tone than in the past. It seemed that as a result of Teresa May halting the decisions on Hinkley C, this allowed more open discussions. Hinkley workers and those who were openly pronuclear were freely discussing their concerns about the Hinkley deal. Our last visitor cried “I can’t believe this is still going on, my sister was campaigning against Hinkley C 30 years ago!”
Thanks to the valiant group who ran the stall; Allan Jeffery and his son Andrew and his girlfriend Laura Ruddock, Chinks Grylls and Sue Aubrey as well as Jane Creagh-Osborne from SWAN. We were very lucky to be under cover as it rained most of the day.
28 July 2016 : the ups and downs, twists and turns of the EDF Final Investment Decision (FID) day. Synchronising our movements, including interviews, protests, banners and public supported displays, with the announcements from EDF. More >>>
On Saturday 23rd July, Stop Hinkley joined a national day of action with Nuclear Train Action Group (NTAG) to highlight the transportation of nuclear radioactive waste from Hinkley to the railway station in Bridgwater, and then up the line to Sellafield, passing many big cities on the way including Bristol.
A visually stimulating stall captured the eyes of railway travellers and those passing by the station. Lots of interesting conversations unfolded and new members were recruited. Many of our new leaflets were distributed and can be downloaded here.
Report on the Green Scythe Fair June 2016
We were as busy as ever at the Green Scythe fair this year and our campaign to increase our membership got off to a very good start with 76 new members signing up to join.
To tie in with the main debate (see write up by Glen below) we produced a stall display and a new leaflet raising awareness of the flood risk to the nuclear power stations on the edge of the Severn Estuary. North Somerset suffers from coastal erosion and the existing sea wall beneath Hinkley is regularly subject to overtopping, leaving beach stones and seaweed on the path above the sea wall.
The Environment Agency stated in 2011 "we should plan for a rise in seal level of approximately 1 metre over the next 100 years and for river flows to increase by up to 20 per cent." This has not, it seems, been updated recently and since then we have had two severe flooding situations in Somerset. Our concerns with Hinkley C radioactive waste being stored on site for 160+ years, and probably forever, needed to be publicized and a Stop Hinkley leafleting team succeeded in getting the message across!
To download our new leaflet on flooding go to http://stophinkley.org/FloodCoastHink6.pdf
THE GREEN SCYTHE FAIR DEBATE 2016: "FLOODING - WHAT IS THE FUTURE?"
An apt title for the debate held at the Green Scythe Fair on Sunday 12 June. Rain hammered down relentlessly on the marquee as we debated the causes and consequences of flooding and how to prevent a repeat of the 2014 disaster!
Thorney Lakes, the location of the Fair, was under water for six weeks in the 2014 floods. The future for the Somerset Levels, with continuing pressure on land use, unabated climate change and diminishing resources to combat flooding, looks precarious indeed.
Members of Stop Hinkley leafleted the audience before the meeting with our new leaflet "The Flood Risk of Hinkley Point C site" and we planned to ask the speakers' views on this issue at some point in the debate.
Julian Temperley , local farmer and founder of the Somerset Royal Cider Brandy Company, explained the vital importance of dredging. After the 2014 floods about 8,000 metres of river was dredged at a cost of £6m. On average, the river channels have been expanded by a third wider so there is a greater cross sectional area for the water to pass through. That increases the capacity of the rivers and prevents additional water from spilling into the areas that flooded previously. This will obviously need to be done on a regular basis and is costly, but necessary, he said. Oddly, for a Somerset "champion", he described the dredging of the 3 arches of the bridge at Bridgwater! There is no such bridge in Bridgwater- it later transpired he was talking about Burrowbridge! Still, both towns begin with "B", I suppose! Ahem!
George Monbiot , journalist, environmentalist and now, famously, pro-nuclear power, looked at the political and environmental causes of flooding. He said that dredging was only part of the answer and stressed the need for a more holistic approach, maintaining tree planting and land drainage, for example. He decried the madness of EU subsidies given to farmers to destroy wildlife habitats and increase flooding risk, by planting crops such as maize, which blocks drainage and adds to the problem of swelling lakes and rivers
Molly Scott Cato , Green MEP for SW England and Gibraltar, addressed the global causes of flooding and asked how we can begin to seriously tackle climate change, instead of allowing governments to pay lip service to solving this threat to human existence. We need, she said, to recognise the vital role land management in addressing environmental crises. We need sustainable, human-scale farming, with emphasis on local and sustainable food systems, rather than pressure to compete in global export markets.
At last, a member of Stop Hinkley managed to ask the million-dollar question: "What about the threat of flooding at the Hinkley C site?" Monbiot shocked and delighted us all by declaring that both the proposed site and the economics of Hinkley "C" are "completely crazy". Elsewhere, he has said of Hinkley C: " No one should commission a mess without a plan for clearing it up." So, while many of us may not be able to forgive him for deserting our cause, he is at least with us on opposition to Hinkley C.
February and March 2016 has been a very busy time. Here are a few examples of what happened-:
On 15 Feb Stop Hinkley joined the international call to "Occupy EDF" by forming a multi-bannered demonstration at King's Square, Bridgwater outside the old EDF office. After being interviewed and photographed by the local media, about 60 supporters marched, escorted by the civil nuclear police, to Angel Place shopping centre. [See pic below] There we handed in a detailed letter to the EDF office, explaining the many reasons why investing in Hinkley C would be a disaster to everybody, including their own organisation. http://stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr160215Letter2EDF.pdf
At the same time a group of anti-nuclear protesters climbed into the walled gardens in Cannington (now the EDF'S engineering training centre) and had a colourful, musical picnic with "radioactive champagne!"
On 27 Feb Some SH members took part in the London National Trident Protest March at Trafalgar Square, carrying 2 large posters from our latest leaflet showing the strong links between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. http://stophinkley.org/NucPower&WeaponsLinkLeaflet.pdf
On 4 March Roy Pumfrey gave an entertaining and informative talk on the historic story of Hinkley C leading up to the present situation, to the North Somerset Green Party at Weston Super Mare.
On 10 March Stop Hinkley organised a public talk at the Methodist Temple Church in Taunton, with two speakers, Lynda Walker (Chernobyl Children) and Brian Jones(Wales CND). They updated us with their recent experiences of how people today are trying to deal with the consequences of these disasters, Chernobyl 30 years on and Fukushima 5 years ago.
11 March an evening vigil was held outside the Japanese Embassy in London attended by representatives of SH. This was followed the next day by SH members joining Japanese Against Nuclear (JAN) and all its supporters for a big colourful event. We took our radioactive waste barrel costumes, flags and banners and marched to Westminster to remind the public that, 5 years on, Fukushima is still an on-going human and environmental disaster. There were moving speeches and music from international speakers and performers.
The next weekend SH members attended a "Beyond Nuclear" conference in Manchester, bringing together anti-nuclear groups from America, Europe and Britain. We heard fascinating scientific and political speakers, talking about the health, environmental and legal aspects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, and the future energy revolution under way. One based on decentralised renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. The last day involved discussions on how all the different groups could develop their communications to work together strongly to get our messages to the public.
29 November 2015 The Bristol March for Climate, Justice and Jobs: Stop Hinkley and SWAN members took the 'Renewables not Nuclear' and the 'Hinkley C is a White Elephant' messages to Bristol. There were, 3.000 on the March including, Bristol's mayor, George Furguson.
There were at least 15 barrels and a new Stop Hinkley Banner designed by political cartoonist Steve Bell. We gave out about a thousand leaflets 'Why nuclear power is not the answer to Climate Change' and at the end Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Theo Simon, spoke on a very muddy College Green.
14 June 2015: Green Scythe Fair Report by Jo Smoldon
Another day where the sun shone on the green! We had a busy Stop Hinkley stall telling everyone about the European petition we have pledged to support https://www.ews-schoenau.de/campaign.html It was really good to see the face of a visiting German who came from Schoenau, who couldn’t believe it when he saw us pushing their petition. He was so happy!
Lots of people were asking about what is happening at Hinkley. Some saying “it doesn’t look like its happening any more does it?” Discussion about all the reasons why the project is being delayed, this takes an ever increasing amount of time in itself!
There was lots of talk about the tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay recently being given Government permission and about new lagoon projects lined up for other areas of the estuary.
I had a lovely surprise when I approached the lunchtime discussion speakers and found one of them was Theo. As the main topic of the day was Climate Change I wanted to distribute Allan’s article on ‘Why nuclear is not the answer to climate change’. I was given the job of encouraging the crowds in to hear the discussion and was able to give them a leaflet to browse on the way. There were good speakers and debates, so a success all round.
We had taken the radioactive waste barrel costumes but couldn’t see where we had the space to display them. Instead, we decided to set up a relay where two volunteers wore the barrels and circulated the fair, giving out petition slips. It gave helpers a break from the stall and got their legs moving as well as an opportunity to see other stalls. Many thanks to everyone who took a turn. It turned out much easier to do than initially thought because people were approaching us to ask for a leaflet as we walked around in the conspicuous costumes. Some wore the barrel costumes and entered the relay event.
The only problem I had with the day was my promise of a glass of cider at the end dissolved as they had sold out, an indication of the huge numbers who attended the event.
24 March 2015: Stop Hinkley takes the message to Brussels: 'No Subsidies For New Nuclear Power Plants'.
Stop Hinkley were invited to Brussels to take part in a demonstration at the EU headquarters and our Euro MEP Molly Scott Cato joined the list of speakers who inspired us. We were thrilled to be invited as it was important for us to be there and represent our Stop Hinkley campaign, which was central for the other participant's presentations. Molly spoke of Stop Hinkley's long standing commitment to the anti-nuclear campaign in Somerset over 30 years and acknowledged our presence and perseverance.
The demo was outside the EU headquarters and our Euro MP Molly Scott Cato joined the list of speakers who inspired us. We were thrilled to be invited and to take part - it was important for us to be there and represent our Stop Hinkley campaign which was central for the other participant's presentations.
Many countries and anti-nuclear groups were represented including Austria, Holland, Belgium and Germany. It was affirming that all of these people were there for us too, different groups coming together in a united way, with common cause, across all our different languages. It gave great strength to us all.
An Austrian speaker's informative talk highlighted the 1957 Euratom treaty which the EU countries all signed in support of nuclear. Austria sees today that this needs to be updated and for nuclear power to be removed. One solution is for individual countries to pull out from the Euratom treaty, perhaps Luxembourg and Austria, and then encourage Germany to pull out. Hopefully others will follow to undermine the dictating Euratom treaty.
Peter Smith, a Stop Hinkley supporter who spent many years working in a very senior position at Hinkley, spoke from the heart about his journey from Hinkley Point worker to anti-nuclear campaigner. The audience fell silent listening to the details of his life experience revealing the delusion, denial, and danger leading to disaster and destruction from the nuclear industry. His shock when he realised that the industry has never confessed to its employees that the finances won't ever add up. The money needed for decommissioning and waste storage is never costed into the nuclear energy production. Nuclear workers are continuously being deceived!
There are many in Europe asking about the UK government and wondering what is going to happen in the forthcoming elections. One speaker, when looking at the attitudes to energy provision comparing nuclear to renewables, described Cameron as not only a donkey in the horse race, but a dead donkey!
Molly spoke of Stop Hinkley's long standing commitment to the anti-nuclear campaign in Somerset over 30 years and acknowledged our presence and perseverance.
The power network was talked about. In the South West the spare capacity is already allocated to Hinkley on the grid and renewables have been left with no possibility to feed in. Is there a strategy in DECC? Businesses are being told that no intermediate renewable sized projects can be approved, only small domestic ones.
We heard about various other reactors around Europe. In Austria, although they finished a nuclear power station, they decided never to switch it on.
Inspiration was given when it was revealed that last year in Germany energy saving technology has meant that in a year 5% of their energy has been saved. That just shows how, by simply looking at what we are doing, from individuals to big companies, everyone can make a difference to the energy total that is required.
The Belgium speaker told of the 18cm cracks in their reactor and again it was highlighted the importance of individuals investing in renewables.
As the different countries told their stories, no one could miss the fact that the two countries pushing for nuclear are UK and France. This is due to the nuclear weapons facility for Europe being subsidised ad infinitum. As always, the weapons issue was mentioned. It has underpinned the need for nuclear power from the beginning.
Everyone pledged to get more signatures on the petition against the illegal subsidy for nuclear. Subsidy and waste needing £billions to keep it safe, goes on and on and on and on...so must our determination to stop it. https://www.ews-schoenau.de/campaign
One speaker spoke about the importance of not giving up and the strength in small groups joining up and making an impact. We all felt we had made good friends and the sincerity and depth of understanding between us will carry us forward, of that I have no doubt.
Stop Hinkley were invited by Fechner Media, who called this gathering. They are working on a film called "Change" to follow up the film 'The 4th Revolution Energy Autonomy' (a film well worth seeing) http://www.energyautonomy.org/index.php?article_id=21&clang=1
Green gathering at Bridgwater Station
22 Nov 2014: Stop Hinkley had a surprise visit from Julie Harvey-Smith, the Green Party's nominated candidate for the area. Julie met local campaigners and helped spread the message of all the problems with Hinkley nuclear waste.
We based ourselves on the green outside the station with a high visual impact display to road and rail. We were so lucky, the heavy rain that started in the morning cleared to sunshine, so passers-by were happy to stop and chat about why we were there. Local young parents expressed their concern on hearing the radioactive waste is transferred at the railhead next to the primary school, close to where their children leave the nursery school.
Later in the afternoon Julie visited the railhead to see for herself the proximity to the school and dense residential housing.
In the evening we celebrated with Julie Harvey-Smith at the vote count as she was elected as the Green Party Candidate for the Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency in the forthcoming General Election in May 2015.
Report by Jo Smoldon
|On Saturday 27th September 2014, as part of a national call out, members of Stop Hinkley protested outside Bridgwater Railway Station against the movement of nuclear waste on our railway network. Working well as a team, we made some new banners and created a highly visible display.
|Despite being one of the most difficult places to stage anything anti-nuclear, we gave out info and were generally well received. Many people were surprised and unaware that the waste is loaded in Bridgwater. Even the most pro-nuclear of people, if they engage, tend to gall when they realise the proximity of the nuclear loading gantry to the local primary school. [Report by Wanda]
2014 Festival Feedback
Seven enthusiastic anti nuke volunteers set up and staffed this year's stall at Glastonbury Festival. Full of flags and banners, the stall was colourful, eye catching and well stocked with information mostly printed by Stop Hinkley (SH) and South West against Nuclear (SWAN). We also carry some leaflets on other anti-nuclear campaigns and events, such as Stop Trident and the upcoming NATO demonstration in Newport (30th august). We had been furnished with a fake Geiger counter, which proved a fun and talk provoking prop.
Sited in the Green Futures Field we were luckily on the same spot as last year. Our stall lay by one of the entrances into the field on a main thoroughfare, which guarantees a good passing footfall.
We primarily concentrated on getting the message out about the problems with nuclear waste. We updated folk concerning the HPC madness and carried info about the Minehead and Swansea Tidal Lagoon proposals. The latter has been well received - a positive message amongst the grim reading that challenging the nuclear industry makes. There seems to be an upsurge of anti nuclear interest in the proposed new wave of nuclear power station builds and with nuclear waste. It is a prime time to build upon this interest and the problem of nuclear waste is the one issue that finds common ground with most people. It is also the issue that links all aspects of nuclear production, from uranium mining to nuclear dumps and contamination, from the start to its never ever ending.
We were kept busy leafleting, talking and engaging with festival goers, who were generally keen to find out more information and interested in what action they could take. The banners that show the Fukushima exclusion zone, superimposed upon Hinkley Point, are very effective and tend to stop people in their tracks to study them and then to engage. Similarly with the maps that show the routes taken by nuclear waste trains' on their journey to Sellafield and those that show the sites of nuclear installations in Britain . People are often quite shocked to realise their proximity to a nuclear site or train route.
Theo Simon from Seize the Day dedicated their gig to the anti nuke cause, with the Nuclear Waste Fairy and the nuclear barrel costumes making an appearance and an impromptu front of stage dance. Nikki Clark gave several well informed and well attended talks at both festivals, and ran a workshop at the GG (a link to this can be found on Facebook on her 'Nikki No Nukes' page). She spoke variously about energy democracy, understanding the language of the nuclear industry and an update on the HPC situation.
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Chepstow race course, the Green Gathering festival goers tend to be an already anti nuclear audience and engagement was more on the level of linking up nuclear issues, providing more depth of information and discussing opportunities for taking action. There is a growing movement against Fracking (and folk are often unaware of the nuclear waste issues that the process of fracking produces) and a keenness to resist the HPC proposed build. The running of the stall was more challenging here as regards the weather. By Sunday morning our stall had buckled and collapsed in the winds and we de-camped into the Palestinian Stall. This proved an interesting experience. The stall was already carrying anti nuclear information from the arms perspective and so linked well with our literature. Folk who were drawn in on the Palestine issue were drawn to the anti nuclear leaflets and sought to engage with us.
Report by Wanda
The Green Scythe Fair, Sunday June 15, 2014: It was a lovely day for the Green Scythe Fair. Jo and Ian had set up the Stop Hinkley stand brilliantly with plenty of leaflets, flags and banners. It was unmissable.
The GSF at Thorney Lakes, Muchelney is a magical one day environmental fair in a beautiful setting on the Somerset Levels run entirely on wind, sun and muscle power. http://www.greenfair.org.uk/index.html As well as stalls, eateries, bars, music, creativity and lots of playing in the cut grass, there are informed debates, workshops and the annual West Country Scything Championship. It's aim has been to raise environmental awareness demonstrating the links between sustainable practice, sustainable materials and renewable energy production. Now in it's 13th year the numbers have grown and there were well over 2,000 visitors, participants and many children.
There was no stopping as people came to talk with us, pick up information, introduce themselves as Stop Hinkley members, sign petitions and generally discourse on all things nuclear and anti nuclear. The most frequently asked questions were "what's happening?" "is it a done deal ?" and "won't the light s go out if we don't have nuclear?"
Jo had prepared various flyers with Allan's article from the Western Daily Press 'Why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change' and 'the latest updates' [from the April newsletter] so we had plenty of good material to give to the constant stream of interested people. We also handed out lots of the yellow Stop Hinkley leaflets advising people to visit the website and get involved. We also encouraged people to take badges and stickers for their cars.
We did a great deal of talking with others, on practical political and philosophical topics. It is g ood to remind people that it is not a done deal and the more that they can inform others and write to their MPs etc the better. It's also an opportunity for networking with other groups and people from further afield.
Report by Chinks Grylls
6 May 2014 in Bridwater: Neil Crumpton gave a presentation to Stop Hinkley supporters regarding the governments long term plans of escalating new nuclear. Neil is an ex-Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear campaigner who currently represents a community group on the DECC-NGO nuclear Forum and the Office of Nuclear Regulation-NGO Forum.
All the major UK political parties (except the Green Party) support the construction of new nuclear power stations claiming it will address climate change, generate cost-competitive electricity and provide energy security. Last year the Coalition's nuclear 'Pathways' report and statements from ministers and chief advisers made it clear the planned 16 GW by 2025 new-build 'replacement' programme was now to be seen as just a 'first tranche'. The Pathways report detailed programmes of over 55 GW or more of light water reactors by 2040 and up to 75 GW by 2050, including possibly 20 GW of fast breeder reactors. This major escalation of the UK 's nuclear ambitions, in its self-proclaimed quest to be a leader in a global nuclear renaissance, was the subject of the Stop Hinkley meeting.
The presentation outlined what, where and how such nuclear scenarios might be deployed and the implications for radio-active waste, proliferation and non-nuclear technologies. It proposed that such 'pathways' should be subject to a major re-consultation of the public and a legal 're-justification' in the light of emerging technologies, health detriments and world events.
His 40 minute presentation was followed by a full and powerful debate over all the issues, and more, and kept us all captivated with the subject till we succumbed to late night tea and cake!
Hear his presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRwbppL9ix8
To see his slides separately Click Here
Promising news from Economics Conference in Prague
Report by Theo Simon
In April I got a promising glimpse of the bigger anti-nuclear picture in Europe, when I went to a conference in Prague called "Economic limits of the nuclear power industry". Arriving in Prague by overnight bus, I quickly discovered how alive, intelligent and united our colleagues in the European resistance are. And I was impressed how our struggle against Hinkley C was at the front of their minds, whether they came from Bulgaria , Hungary, Poland, Germany or Austria .
The conference was called by "Bohemian Mothers Against Atomic Danger" and the Czech Friends of the Earth, but the attendees were not just activists, but also euro-officials, energy planners and European media. The key session for me was when Austrian Franz Leidenmühler, from the Institute of European Law , Linz University , analysed the EU Competition Commission's damning report on the Hinkley C deal in detail. I was much encouraged to hear that their findings left very little wriggle-room for the UK government, if any.
I had a discussion afterwards with the speaker, who had good inside knowledge of EU procedures. He told me he was pretty sure that the current EU legal opinion - that Hinkley C was receiving an illegal and unnecessary state subsidy - would have to be upheld because the case the Commission had made was so watertight. He explained that this would leave our government with only two options: Either go back to the negotiating table and hope that EDF will take less, or ignore the ruling and be heavily punished financially by EU sanctions.
This is particularly promising news because, as other presenters showed, globally the nuclear industry is very much on the wane. It is being outstripped by renewables for price and efficiency across the world - obviously in Germany and Austria , but also in China . New Nuclear cannot raise the huge investment it needs or guarantee the returns it promises without fixing the energy market in it's favour and putting the costs on the public purse - exactly what is being proposed in Britain ! It may be that EDF just cannot raise the investment for Hinkley C without the subsidy they have wrung from the Tory/LibDem government They certainly are in no fit shape to pay for it themselves.
Of course, the current anti-EU mood may affect a future government's behaviour, and similar reactionary trends are occurring across Europe too, so it remains to be seen whether the Commission's current resolution will hold in a new political climate. But delegates still seemed confident that, in general, the nuclear finances will fail and renewables will begin to prevail. A German Greenpeace comrade told me how the main nuclear workers union in Germany had become pro-renewables because they saw that it created much more work. This is an interesting campaigning point for us to take up, as it could free the UK Labour Movement from the nuclear noose and enable it to make a principled stand in favour of public safety and common sense.
It will be ironic that, if Hinkley C stalls permanently, it may not be for such rational reasons, but simply economics. I guess right now that as long as it collapses, I won't care why.
10 April 2014 at Hinkley Point
The sun shone on our special visitors to the Hinkley gates on Thursday.
Dr Molly Scott Cato, lead Green Party European candidate in the South West, and Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, had lead story in the media that day.
They were both there in response to the EU consultation advising that UK Government support for Hinkley C does not conform to EU state aid rules. Dr Scott Cato has accused the government of providing a 'back door' subsidy to EDF.
Over eighty supporters turned up, which is impressive bearing in mind that there was one week's notice for the event! Many thanks to all the helpers.
More information: http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/news.html/2014/04/07/green-mp-joins-south-west-greens-at-hinkley-demo/
Dec 2013: London Demo:
On Thursday 4th Dec Stop Hinkley went to London for the demo outside the High Court to support An Taisce (The Irish National Trust) legal challenge to the government. We had to travel up to the city the previous day to ensure a timed arrival so, on making the travel plans, we realised we had a few hours on Wed afternoon spare in London . What use could we make of ourselves? An impromptu event emerged..
Topical that week was Radiation Free Lakeland www.mariannewildart.wordpress.com taking letters to government in protest at the continuing implementation of the insane geological nuclear dump plan in the Lakes. So we decided to show our solidarity, albeit a day late. The nuclear waste barrels were rolled out again and we made a banner 'HOW ABOUT A NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP HERE?' We paraded this around the sights of London and had lots of support from passers-by, both locals and holiday makers, who could see our simple message. If London (government) is so in favour of nuclear, how about having a waste store under the city? Apparently the geology is suitable, so why not?
We handed out fliers with an ethical solution to the nuclear waste; being pumped direct to under floor heating systems in each house, 'having your share of electricity entitles you to your share of the waste,' we dropped one off to DECC to consider alongside all their other mad brained ideas.
We were moved on from The Houses of Parliament as we weren't in an acceptable location for protesting. We said we weren't protesting just asking the people of London for their views, but were moved on to new venues which we had planned anyway.
Downing Street got the best photo shot with a local policeman poised ready to engage with us.
We had some other interesting responses; a Royal Guard (bearskin) outside Clarence House, who don't normally speak to the public, (in fact people go to great lengths to try and get them to speak) started yelling at the top of his voice "LEAVE. You have 15 seconds or I am pushing the panic button" when we suggested a share of the waste should be stored there. We beat a hasty retreat, asking him not to shout. It was the first time I have ever seen Nikki phased by anyone. It must have been something to do with the machine gun in his hand....
Then on to Buckingham Palace . We decided it was a suitable venue for our banner as the Queen owns Uranium mines in America , Canada and Africa and so supports and makes money from the deadly business. We were included in many sightseers' photos in front of the now illuminated Palace.
Feb 2013: Witch Watch.
In spite of the rain and bitter cold, a small group of dedicated women have been holding vigil overnight outside the gates of Hinkley Point for the last 10 full moons.
Their spokesperson Wanda said: "The Government is set to make a decision on 19 March that could burden our children for generations to come with the legacy of high level toxic waste. Radioactive waste from Hinkley B is regularly taken by road to Bridgwater Station then on to Sellafield in Cumbria where it is stored. On its journey it passes close by schools and residential areas in many towns including Bristol. We want the Government to chose a different strategy for our energy needs. Germany is doing this so surely we can too."
If you would like to join Wanda and her group, click here for more info.
Stop Hinkley protesting with Welsh anti nuclear groups on the
steps of the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales)
in Cardiff Tuesday 16 October 2012
>>> The Stop Hinkley Street Stall outside the Green Party conference at Bristol in September 2012
Stop Hinkley Protesters Lobby Centrica AGM
<<< Over 20 people including Stop Hinkley members lobbied shareholders at last Friday's (11 May 2012) AGM of energy company Centrica in London asking them not to invest in Hinkley C. Carrying a banner reading "Don't Invest in Risky Nuclear Power" they handed out leaflets warning of the financial dangers involved. More>>>
>>> Stop Hinkley supporters putting out the message loud and clear at the Pipers Inn Crossroads (A361/A39) at the 2011 Tour of Britain Stage 6 leg, Taunton to Wells. Pictured Linda Wicks from North Petherton.