Stop Hinkley Press Release

23 May 2007

Dismay at plans for Hinkley C

Stop Hinkley campaigners have expressed their dismay at the Government plans expected this afternoon to announce Hinkley Point as a site for a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Alistair Darling is expected to announce the Government's support for a series of new nuclear power stations in a Commons speech today, detailing the sites he favours. These are widely expected to include a site to the west of the existing reactors at Hinkley partly owned by Hinkley B owners, British Energy.

The campaigners say that the Government has made up its mind to sweep ahead with the project despite a High Court ruling that said the earlier energy consultation was "flawed, misleading and unfair". In an unguarded comment a senior DTI official had responded by saying "this will affect the consultation, not the policy ". The Energy Review itself had overturned the outcome of the 2003 Energy Review which had declared nuclear to be an unsuitable option with its uncertainties over nuclear waste and costs. Even in the recent flawed review, nuclear was eventually shown to be very poorly supported by most respondents.

Streamlined planning laws announced earlier this week revealed that a Government quango will "presume in favour" of large infrastructure decisions supported by the Government, disallowing local opposition except on a narrow range of issues.

The Sustainable Development Commission last year denounced nuclear power as unhelpful in the fight against Climate Change as cheaper renewable energy coupled with energy conservation and locally produced energy would produce better carbon savings per pound spent.

Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "The Government is hooked on large 'eye-catching' projects to resolve our electricity issues. But we can produce our electricity more cheaply and safely, with less polluting and less wasteful decentralised energy systems. New reactors at Hinkley will produce harmful low-level radiation into the local environment and become a safety risk with cost-driven cuts to established safety systems. Dangerous plutonium-based spent fuel will be stored for decades on site as reprocessing at Sellafield will be discontinued. Terrorists will have a juicy target to aim at. There are too many down-sides to this thoughtless project."

Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley, 07968 974805


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