Stop Hinkley Press Release

9th May 2008

EDF buys Hinkley land for reactor

French-owned utility EDF has quietly bought up land next to Hinkley Point in a move which furthers the likelihood of a third nuclear reactor being built there.

Bids are currently being made by EDF and other principally foreign electricity companies for British Energy, mainly so that new reactors can be built on existing sites. At a British Energy 'community meeting' at Cannington recently British Energy and BERR suggested that two reactors could be built at Hinkley.

But the problem is that there is only enough spare land owned by British Energy for less than one reactor. So EDF seems to be stealthily buying up a parcel of land that would allow a twin reactor or to give them some leverage to reduce their bid for the company. The best land would be to the west of Hinkley on a site earmarked for a nine-turbine wind-farm. Land to the east is low lying and even more prone to flooding due to climate-change.

EDF would like to build two 1600 megawatt reactors known as the European Pressurised Reactor at Hinkley, giving a total output of 3,200 megawatts, nearly three times that of Hinkley B (1250MW). The EPR is the biggest nuclear reactor in the world.

It is undergoing problems where it is being built in Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in northern France .

The Finnish project is £1billion euros overspent with a two and a half year delay only two and a half years into its build. The wrong mix of concrete was put into the difficult foundations resulting in too much porosity. A steel containment vessel was produced by a Polish shipyard with wrongly placed holes and a wavy line at the bottom not a straight line, while welding was found to be inadequate.

Large and Associates (1) have produced a report saying that the reactor's defences are not adequate to withstand a deliberate heavy airliner crash, while the designers suggested in a memo to French regulators it could only resist a smaller jet fighter.

At the Cannington meeting members of the public aired their concern that highly radioactive spent fuel from the reactor would be stored on site for sixty years.

Jim Duffy from Stop Hinkley said: " Europe 's largest power company is stealthily lining itself up to build the two biggest nuclear reactors in the world at Hinkley. I'm concerned about the hugeness of this project with its associated factors of safety and terrorism. The radiation just in the spent fuel stores would add up to forty times that released by Chernobyl ."

"If the Government believes its own line that terrorism is an active threat we shouldn't go ahead with this ghastly plan."

Jim Duffy; Stop Hinkley, 07968 974805


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1. Click here for the Large & Assoc. report.

2. Click here for: EDF snaps up 'nuclear' land Financial Times, May 9 2008








Page Updated 09-May-2008