Protesters blockade nuclear power plant

About 100 protesters are blockading a power station as part of an on-going campaign against plans to build a new nuclear station on the site.

Today (October 3) protesters padlocked the main gate outside Hinkley Point in Somerset and sat across the road in an action aimed at stopping the plant working.

The protest, which began on Saturday (October 1) with a march outside EDF Energy regional headquarters in Bridgewater, was in response to plans by the energy giant to build the proposed Hinkley Point C power station – what would be the largest ever planned in Britain.

EDF Energy was given permission earlier this year to uproot hedges and trees, dig up more than 2 million cubic metres of soil and rocks, re-route underground streams and build infrastructure on the 420 acre site.

Stop Hinkley spokesman, Crispin Aubrey, said: “This region deserves decent jobs that are safe and sustainable, nuclear power cannot meet this requirement.

“EDF Energy is offering jobs that come from the bottom of the barrel the construction work will only be temporary and will cause great inconvenience to the local community – particularly in terms of traffic congestion.

“Most of the longer-term jobs at the reactor will be specialised and will require people to come in from further afield, so it’s a bad deal for Somerset and Bristol.”

Hinkley Point B station director, Mike Harrison, said: “The safety of the public, our people and our plant is always our top priority.

“We believe strongly that low-carbon nuclear has a vital role in maintaining UK electricity supplies in the future.

“As the government has said, the UK continues to need new nuclear power, we also appreciate greatly the support of the large majority of local residents who recognise the contribution we make to the area and the benefits that a new power station would bring to Somerset.

“EDF Energy will do whatever is required and we will implement all the recommendations when the final report is published later this year.

“If there are ways we can further improve the protection at Hinkley Point or our other sites that is what we will do.”

On Hinkley Point C Mr Harrison added EDF Energy continues with work on the design assessment of reactors, the site preparation conditions and preparing the application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).

EDF Energy expects to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the power station to the IPC later this year.

Luke Walsh

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