Stop Hinkley Press Release
27th November 2007
Campaigners oppose move towards Hinkley C
Campaigners today reacted angrily to moves by British Energy towards building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
Hinkley Point was today announced by British Energy as one of four sites in the UK where they would like to build a new reactor, together with Sizewell, Dungeness and Bradwell. All the potential sites are in England , highlighting Scotland 's opposition to nuclear power and despite British Energy's headquarters being based in East Kilbride .
But campaigners replied that a new reactor would produce more nuclear waste to which there is no defendable solution, reactor buildings and outbuildings would be vulnerable to a 9/11 type terrorist attack and none of the likely reactor designs have been built and proven.
The Government has still not announced its final strategy for managing high level nuclear waste which is building up at Sellafield. Instead it proposes to allow local authorities to bid for cash incentives in an unlikely bidding war to host a Deep Geological Repository. Stop Hinkley has said the toxic waste will inevitably resurface during the million year activity of the 500,000 tonnes of radioactive material. A new generation of reactors will mean a second repository somewhere in the country, still depending on a local community welcoming its construction.
A new reactor being built in Finland by the French-German consortium Areva/Siemans is two years behind schedule and £1 billion overspent due to safety and planning problems. The European Pressurised Reactor was considered unlikely to withstand a deliberate commercial aircraft crash by leading consultant John Large. (1)
Another design, the Westinghouse AP1000 owned by Toshiba has been built down to costs, saving on steel and concrete thus reducing by 65 percent the amount of safety systems compared to the UK 's last built reactor, Sizewell B, also a Westinghouse design. Instead a 'passive' safety feature comprising a large tank of water is perched on top of the reactor building. This also precludes a 'secondary containment' sphere to trap any accidental release of radiation in a serious accident.
Carbon savings by replacing all our existing nuclear power stations would only add up to four percent but at huge expense and crowding out funding for renewable energy which could save more carbon more quickly.
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley spokesman said: "We don't need a Hinkley 'C' which will cost us dearly in terms of subsidies, a lost opportunity to combat climate change and not least in peoples' worries over safety. The Government has been wooed into accepting this plan, throwing away the chance to promote renewables, local-scale generation and energy efficiency. We should follow the Scottish Parliament's progressive lead in this direction."
"The industry's jitters about terrorism were shown to me recently when I was stopped no less than four times outside the power station by police or security while filming with a regional TV company. This technology requires stringent security but one day it might fail with unthinkable consequences."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07968 974805