Press Release - 17 th March  2011

Campaigners step up demand for action over contaminated Hinkley land after Japan disaster

Campaigners have sent an open letter to West Somerset Council, asking them to coordinate action over land found to be contaminated on the proposed Hinkley C site.

Local campaign group Stop Hinkley is asking for works to be halted on the affected land, that an early meeting of interested parties including the public be held and for affirmation that suitable sophisticated tests are being performed on the Hinkley land as a matter of urgency in response to the recent Green Audit report. Following the Japan disaster campaigners are seeking faster action from the council.

EDF should have been instructed by WSC to submit an appropriate contamination assessment with their application as they had answered 'yes' to a question on the land being contaminated.

In preparing objections to this application a number of Stop Hinkley campaigners looked for this contamination assessment by EDF.

In the absence of any clearly indexed document Stop Hinkley assumed that the Radiological Site Characterisation commissioned by EDF from AMEC was intended to be the 'appropriate contamination assessment'.

The finding of AMEC's report was that the uranium they found present on the site is not dangerous.

Stop Hinkley Campaigners then looked at the AMEC Report in the following ways:-

  • Did the methodology of the report comply with best practice of Safegrounds, the agreed industry standard?
  • Was the data in the report accurate and relevant to proving that the enriched uranium on this site is safe?

In both cases it was found that the AMEC report fell way short of what one would expect in dealing with such a critical subject.

The responses these campaigners have received from DECC, EDF, WSC and the Environment Agency have included such tactics as character assassination, passing the buck, disputing the law and simply not responding to emails.

When presenting our concerns, in the Green Audit Report, to Hergen Haye, Government Head of New Nuclear, at the DECC consultation in Bridgewater on 12/1/2011 he said:-

"It is in no one's interest, including the government, to grant consent to something that would be obviously harmful to human beings. Why would anyone want to do that?"

Katy Attwater, spokesperson for Stop Hinkley said: "Surely our fellow human beings at EDF would be wanting to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that disturbing the land at Hinkley Point will not be a health hazard to workers, local people and the wider community in the South West."

She added: "We're pressing the council to take the necessary action to ensure the land is checked again and set up a meeting of interested parties. Meanwhile they should stop all works on the land which might disturb the radiation in the soil."

For more information: Katy Attwater, Deputy Press Officer, Stop Hinkley Campaign




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