The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) English Forum are looking forward to this Saturday’s public meeting held in cooperation with the groups Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) and Stop Hinkley. It is being held at the ‘Firstsite’ Gallery in Colchester.
With UK new nuclear policy in a crisis, following the failure to develop sites at Sellafield Moorside, Wylfa and Oldbury, and the recent statement that Hinkley Point C in Somerset could cost as much as £23.5 billion, this joint meeting will look at some of the main reasons why the proposed new nuclear sites at Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Bradwell should not be developed.
The participating groups will be considering the financing problems in funding new nuclear, the real and urgent siting and climate change concerns with these three coastal sites, and the ongoing worry that the sites would be hosting large amounts of highly radioactive waste for as long as 200 years, at a time when no long-term solution to radioactive waste management has been agreed.
The speakers at the seminar include:
- Katy Attwater from the Stop Hinkley group on the siting, environmental and climate change concerns around Hinkley Point C.
- Pete Wilkinson (a former member of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management) from the Together Against Sizewell C group on the current concerns with developing a third Sizewell reactor site in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
- Professor Andrew Blowers (also a former member of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management) of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group on their deep concerns of the siting, safety, environmental and emergency planning issues around a new Bradwell reactor.
- Professor Steve Thomas of Greenwich University will give a detailed assessment of the current financial and technical state of the energy utility EDF, who would have a primary role in trying to develop these three proposed new nuclear sites.
- Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary on its local manifesto for low carbon action to tackle the ‘climate emergency’ by fully supporting a wide renewable energy mix, energy efficiency, energy storage and smart energy solutions. (1)
The meeting has attracted significant interest from local councillors in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and from the groups concerned. It is a real opportunity to understand the core reasons why new nuclear is not the energy answer in England but should be replaced by a renewable energy alternative considerably cheaper, swifter to develop, waste free, safer and which can deploy in the time required in responding to the ‘climate emergency’.
NFLA Steering Committee Chair Councillor David Blackburn said:
“NFLA is delighted to hold this public meeting in Essex to allow councillors and the concerned public to understand the real concerns in building new nuclear reactors at the three English sites of Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Bradwell. Whilst the UK Government continues to do all it possibly can to develop new nuclear, including a new finance model to potentially channel billions of pounds of public money into these schemes, renewable energy is rapidly coming down in its costs year on year. This meeting allows us to cooperate with local concerned community groups who share our view that new nuclear is not the answer to our low carbon energy needs. I encourage local councillors to attend.”
Katy Attwater of Stop Hinkley group said:
“The Hinkley C safety case is definitely based on out of date and inaccurate information, and there remains real concerns on the future impact of climate change on the site. I look forward to outlining our wider concerns at this important and timely meeting.”
Pete Wilkinson of Together Against Sizewell C said:
“An eroding coastal site, bequeathing future generations an inequitable and intolerable radioactive waste legacy, a site too small for the monstrosity it is required to contain, hemmed in by precious areas of outstanding natural beauty in a remote, inaccessible and tranquil area. What better place to build an unnecessary behemoth producing over 200 poisons in vast quantities by a bankrupt, divided company which electricity bill payers are being asked to subsidise?”
Andrew Blowers of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group said:
“A mammoth new nuclear power station with long-term storage of dangerous radioactive waste at Bradwell will inflict devastation and danger on the tranquil Essex coastlands and bring harm to marine life of the estuaries that compose the Marine Conservation Zone. It is difficult to conceive of a more vulnerable site as the impacts of climate change bring flooding, storm surges and coastal change to this fragile area. The fact that this nuclear danger will be undertaken by a Chinese state-backed company makes it totally unacceptable.”
Professor Steve Thomas said:
“EDF is in deep financial crisis and will only be able to survive with heavy French government support and radical restructuring. It is unclear how EDF will be able to finance Hinkley Point C, much less Sizewell C, and the UK government must resist pressures to throw more public money at these ill-conceived projects and abandon them now.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 00 44 (0)161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) Flyer for the NFLA, Stop Hinkley, TASC and BANNG joint public meeting, Firstsite Gallery, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH, 26th October. 10.30am – 1.30pm