The silent protest in Thornbury this weekend of more than 200 people, many wearing gaffer tape across their mouths, shows the anger and frustration with this whole nuclear consultation process. See video of protest here.
Pic: Russ cartoon designed for this website - still one of my favorites!
A Green who attended told me it was great to see so many protesters at the event. Well you may have seen I've posted some thoughts regarding our Green party submission to the Nuclear National Policy statement - see here. Below is our press release which went out this week...
Stroud District Green party has condemned government proposals for two or three new nuclear reactors at Oldbury, 16 miles from Stroud. The consultations on new nuclear power stations close on 22nd February 2010 and the Greens urge the public to make their feelings known.
Cllr Philip Booth, who helped write the Green party's submissions to the consultation, said: "The Government's draft National Planning Statements on energy are deeply flawed. It is not a meaningful consultation: the report has more pages than War and Peace, is incoherent in places, alternatives have not been adequately explored and the carbon impact is not even assessed. In fact, many consider the consultation to be unlawful and even our pro-nuclear MP David Drew has expressed concern."
Philip Booth added: "There are pre-application consultations, exhibitions, preliminary public meetings and full public hearings. We can give our views to the nuclear power company, to local councils, to the Environment Agency, to the Government and to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. How on earth can folk really engage meaningfully with all this? Nevertheless I would urge people to make submissions before 22nd February as the Government need to hear that their nuclear proposals are a serious mistake."
Martin Whiteside, Parliamentary candidate for the Green party in Stroud, said: "The arguments against nuclear are clear. There are no long-term safe solutions for nuclear waste. The economics of nuclear new-build are highly uncertain with serious risks to the taxpayer. Nuclear would lock the UK into a centralised distribution system for the next 50 years at exactly the time when opportunities for microgeneration and local distribution networks are stronger than ever. New nuclear build will do nothing to bridge the predicted energy gap between 2015 and 2020 and give the wrong signal that a major technological fix is all that’s required, weakening the urgent action needed on energy efficiency. Indeed ifLabourand the nuclear industry succeed in promoting the construction of new nuclear power stations, our last chance to find real solutions to climate change will be lost. Furthermore if the UK brings forward a new nuclear programme, we cannot deny other countries the same technology. With lower safety standards they run higher risks of accidents, radiation exposure, proliferation and terrorist attacks.”
Martin Whiteside added: “What is needed is a combination of demand management using smart meters and local grid enhancements to more effectively use the power generated from PV, tidal, estuary schemes, onshore and offshore wind, biomass and combined heat and power (CHP). Renewable energy projects can be brought online much more quickly than nuclear and, in addition to a major programme to make homes more energy efficient, will generate thousands of skilled and semi-skilled jobs in the UK.”
Philip Booth comments: “Peter McDonald, deputy head of the Office of Nuclear Development, has said that some of the proposed sites can be removed...Greens say let us make sure they all get deselected." Nuclear is clearly not the answer and the Stroud District Green Party urges the public to comment on the government’s consultation at: https://www.energynpsconsultation.decc.gov.uk/ by 22nd February.