Over 300,000 people call for Hinkley to be scrapped

14 September 2016

Stop Hinkley campaigners will join Greenpeace at 11am on Thursday 15th September to hand in a petition at No.10 Downing Street.

In advance of a possible Hinkley decision, due sometime before the end of September, Stop Hinkley will join Greenpeace to hand in a petition with over 300,000 signatures at 10 Downing Street.

This follow on from a public opinion poll commissioned by Greenpeace which showed that support amongst the general public for Hinkley Point C has fallen to a new low of only 25%, whilst nearly half (44%) oppose it.

The petition calls on Theresa May to drop the eye wateringly expensive Hinkley and invest in renewable power instead.

Stop Hinkley spokesperson Sue Aubrey said: "Virtually all major national newspapers and commentators have been calling for Hinkley to be cancelled for months. This petition and recent opinion polls show that the public agrees with them and supports Stop Hinkley’s view that there is no widespread support for new nuclear, particularly at Hinkley Point. Consumers can tell that the project may be unconstructable, requires vast subsidies and would generate electricity too expensive to use.”

Aubrey continued: "The Government’s nuclear delusions are trying to put the brakes on a renewable energy revolution taking place around the world. They can’t bring themselves to admit that smart, efficient and renewable energy systems are sounding the death-knell for nuclear power and are standing in the way of the West of England joining this energy revolution – they really do make King Canute look like an amateur. It’s time that Somerset was given the opportunity to join the future.”

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Signing of Contracts with EDF an Enormous Error of Judgement

29 Sep 2016

According to news reports the UK Government will today sign contracts with EDF Energy for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The Stop Hinkley Campaign has branded this “an enormous error of judgement” on the part of both EDF Energy and the UK Government.

“We will be paying the bill for this folly for decades to come. It's a bad deal for consumers; it's a bad deal for Somerset ; it's a bad deal for the country and it's a bad deal for the planet,” said Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey.

"Hinkley Point C will be out-of date long before it generates a single kilowatt, and yet after today we will still have to pay for it.”

“Most of the Hinkley jobs will be abroad, and meanwhile Somerset will fall behind other parts of the country which have a more forward thinking attitude to renewable energy and the transition to a sustainable energy future”.

“While other parts of the world are making fuel poverty a thing of the past and generating jobs from cheap solar and wind energy, Somerset will be left with a legacy of nuclear waste which we will be expected to look after on the Hinkley site for the next 160 years.”

Fortunately, EDF Energy still has a large number of obstacles to overcome.

EDF Energy has said there will no concrete poured until at least mid-2019. This first concrete will depend on the start-up of the reactor at Flamanville which is a similar design, but not scheduled until the end of 2018 – six years late.

There are still concerns over the safety of the reactor pressure vessel at Flamanville after the discovery of a high carbon concentration in the steel, leading to lower than expected mechanical toughness values. Tests will continue until the end of this year. The French safety regulator ASN is making no promises about what remedial action might be required. In the worst case scenario the entire project may need to be abandoned.

Secondly EDF doesn't have the money to pay for it. EDF is a company in a very precarious financial situation. It has €37 billion of debt. The collapse in energy prices has pushed earnings down 68% in 2015. The Company needs to spend €50 billion upgrading its network of 58 ageing reactors by 2025. It is scrambling to sell €4 billion of new shares and €10 billion of assets to strengthen its balance sheet. EDF is also expected to participate in the €5 billion bailout of Areva, the bankrupt developer of EPR technology, by taking a 75 per cent stake. About the last thing that it needs is a new €15 billion millstone around its neck. Influential credit ratings agency Standard & Poors (S&P) has downgraded EDF's rating following the Hinkley approval and Moody's credit rating agency has placed its A2 rating on review for a downgrade.

Thirdly there are at least two legal challenges which need to be resolved.

Firstly from Austria and Luxembourg, and secondly from a group of German renewable energy companies at the European court of justice against the European Commission decision to allow subsidies for Hinkley Point C.

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Page Updated 20-Nov-2016

01 Nov 2016: Nuclear Futures:
Our nuclear power stations are being pushed to run well past their planned life-span. Matthew Hill of BBC Radio 4 asks if this is putting us all in danger. More >>>

Hinkley Point C –
A Tale of Nuclear Dreams!

Some dreams come true; others turn to disaster and turn into nightmares. Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been a dream to many politicians, is it about to come true?
More >>>

What will be the total cost of nuclear waste?
We won't know until the final bill has been totted up in thousands of years. EdF won't take on that liability. EdF and the UK government are planning to dump it onto future generations.



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