Wed. October 3, 2012
Hinkley Point – on the doorstep of Wales ‘If Nuclear is the Answer, Then we’re Asking the Wrong Question’
This weekend, campaigners from Wales will be taking part in the Mass Action at Hinkley Point in Somerset. They will be calling loudly and clearly for a halt to nuclear energy expansion and protesting against plans to build new nuclear reactors next to the existing nuclear site at Hinkley in Somerset – just 14 miles across the Bristol Channel from Wales.
CND Cymru Vice Chair Ray Davies who will be taking part in the blockade and mass trespass said: ‘It is time we called a halt to this nuclear nonsense. I have seen for myself in Belarus the horrific ongoing effects of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 – nuclear can never be the way forward. It is time for our Government to think differently and intelligently. Let’s reduce our consumption, not get ourselves further into this nuclear mess.’
CND Cymru National Secretary Jill Gough said:
‘Radionucleides know no boundaries. Hinkley Point is 14 miles from Barry and only 19 miles from Cardiff. Any leak or accident at Hinkley would mean that even in south Wales, thousands of families might have to flee their homes, farmland would be made worthless for generations and the Welsh economy would be in tatters. Our babies and children would be the most vulnerable.’
‘As the effects of Fukushima are slowly revealed, it becomes clearer that whatever the questions we’re asking, then Nuclear is not the answer.’
The Stop New Nuclear Alliance says arrests are expected.
‘The government is refusing to acknowledge that its ‘new nuclear’ strategy is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary, so we’re being forced to raise our game,’ says spokesperson Nancy Birch.
On Saturday 6th October, hundreds of protesters will help to wheel symbolic barrels of radioactive waste through the streets of nearby Bridgwater. The march aims to highlight the stockpile of used nuclear fuel that will be stored at Hinkley Point if the new power station gets the green light.
‘The new EPR reactors being proposed by EDF Energy will produce spent fuel that is so hot that it will have to be stored on site for over 100 years,’ Nancy explains. ‘If the government gives the go-ahead for eight new nuclear power stations around the UK, everyone’s back yard will become a toxic waste dump.’
On Monday October 8th, protesters aim to scale the fence around the Hinkley C site and scatter seeds in a symbolic attempt to reclaim the already damaged land.
Shana Deal, a member of the Stop New Nuclear Alliance, says further damage to the land must be avoided at all cost. ‘The government and EDF are hell-bent on pushing through ‘new nuclear’ despite clear evidence that the policy will be impossible without massive public subsidies and a big hike in energy bills. We are calling on the public to fight this policy tooth and nail. Germany is creating a nuclear-free future that is sustainable and affordable. We can do the same here. We want a future, not a disaster.’
CND Cymru Vice Chair Ray Davies t:029 20 889 514
CND Cymru Jill Gough t: 01239 85 11 88
For more details about the event:
Camilla Berens / Stop New Nuclear Alliance: 07980-509986
Katy Attwater / Stop Hinkley: 07980-731896
NOTES & DETAILS FOR EDITORS:
- EDF Energy has received local authority permission to carry out ‘remediation work’ on the land earmarked for Hinkley C. However it has not received planning permission for the construction of the new power station.
- The itinerary for the protest is as follows:
Saturday 6th October
11.30: Assemble King Square, Bridgwater (nuclear waste barrels piled up next to EDF’s offices. Photo opportunity for press)
12.30 – 1.00pm: Procession through town centre
1.30 – 3.30pm: Rally with speakers including Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND and environmental journalist Oliver Tickell. A video message will be broadcast by LibDem MP for Wells, Tessa Munt.
4.30 – 5.30pm: Die-in at Hinkley Point nuclear power station. A shuttle bus service will be provided for protesters and media.
Monday 8th October
Mass trespass at the Hinkley C clearance site. A total of 577 seed balls will be scattered on the site – one for each day since the Fukushima Daii-chi nuclear disaster.
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, will be present at the mass trespass and will give a speech at the central gathering point. The location of the gathering point is a field just off the access road to Hinkley Point, about half a mile from the main entrance (police will direct media to the location).
please note – on Monday 8th October police will have temporary traffic lights installed on the road leading to Hinkley Point nuclear power station. No traffic will be allowed beyond this point. However, we have assurance that media vehicles will be allowed through. Large broadcast vehicles should park in the lay-by on the left hand side just before the entrance to the main protest site (police will be indicating where the protest site is). All other vehicles should park in the lay-by about 400 yards further up the road on the right hand side. Please ensure that vehicles are parked in lay-bys and not on the main road.
- For a computer model showing what would happen to the radioactive fallout if a Tsunami damaged Hinkley Point see : www.stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr110518Anims.htm
- A new Greenpeace Report ‘Lessons for Fukushima’ addresses what lessons can be taken away from this catastrophe. It asks what the tragedy – which is far from being over for hundreds of thousands of Japanese people – has taught us. It also raises the question: are we prepared to learn?www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Nuclear-reports/Lessons-from-Fukushima/
HINKLEY POINT (Somerset, England)
- The demonstration at Hinkley Point is organised by Stop New Nuclear, an alliance of CND Cymru, Stop Nuclear Power Network UK, Kick Nuclear, Stop Hinkley, Sizewell Blockaders, Shutdown Sizewell, South West against Nuclear, Trident Ploughshares and British CND.
- ‘The EPR nuclear reactor: a dangerous waste of time and money’ is a report by Greenpeace International that summarises the huge cost and safety concerns surrounding the new European Pressurised Water Reactors.
- A new independent report entitled, A Corruption of Governance? has revealed that data presented to ministers was skewed in favour of the nuclear option. The correct figures show that nuclear power is not necessary to keep the lights on. The report concludes that the errors were, ‘Either a monumental series of mistakes or the ‘nuclear lobby’ has got control of the Whitehall machine’.
- More Hinkley Point Anti-Nuclear Campaign information: http://stophinkley.org/