11 Oct 2011

400 at Hinkley blockade!

View across to Oldbury
Up to 400 people joined a peaceful blockade at the gates of Hinkley Point power station on Monday, 3 October, in protest at EDF's plans for the largest nuclear plant ever built in the UK.  I've just heard from a couple of people who went from Stroud - here's what one said: "It was a fantastic atmosphere and a real boost to our campaign to stop us going down this route to build more nuclear plants."

For those of you who weren’t there here is a link to pictures and videos of the event: http://www.stophinkley.org/EngRevu/111002DemoB%27wtr.htm

The other good news is that the government's nuclear policy took another blow last week as major energy provider RWE reviewed whether to scale down or abandon its UK nuclear programme. The German-owned utility, which owns the npower supply business, has started an internal probe of its plans to construct two possible atomic power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Apparently well-placed sources told the Guardian that the company was looking at all possible aspects of the Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture it operates with E.ON, that would build at Wylfa and Oldbury. "There is a strategic review going on and there are a lot of discussions about all aspects of it including whether new partners could be brought in," said one of the sources. "It's not surprising scrutiny has intensified given what has happened in Germany and the way the British nuclear projects have been left out on a limb." See Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/07/rwe-uk-nuclear-power

Meanwhile Labour's love-in with the nuclear industry continued at a fringe event at their party conference in Liverpool. Public consultations on the building of new nuclear power stations are required by law - amazingly - or perhaps not - it is claimed that these consultations would not cause problems in getting them built. Alan Raymant, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power who want to build a new nuke at Oldbury, said (quoted in The Guardian): "As a developer we are not obliged to follow the results of the public consultation. But we have to take it into account and explain why we have not include its recommendations." 

While Malcolm Grimston, of Chatham House said: "Public consultations have become a type of referendum. What they should be is: This needs to be done, do you have better ideas of how to do it?"

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