January 25, 2011
of State visits Hinkley Point power station near Burnham
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne
MP, visited EDF Energy's site at Hinkley Point near Burnham-On-Sea
on Monday (January 24th).
Huhne was taken on a tour of the existing Hinkley B power station
and the site of the proposed new power plant by EDF Energy Chief
Executive Vincent de Rivaz and Managing Director of New Nuclear
Builds Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson.
Huhne also opened a new Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College,
which is a high-tech training hub that will benefit from £3m
of EDF investment.
company expects that thousands of people will need to be provided
with induction and basic safety training at the centre during
the period of construction.
Mr Huhne said after his visit: "A new nuclear power station
at Hinkley Point has the potential to make an important contribution
to the UKs future low carbon, secure energy supplies. Its
important that local communities benefit from energy projects.
Making the most of local skills is going to be crucial, and Im
encouraged to see EDF Energys support for Bridgwater College's
new Energy Skills Centre."
on the proposals for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point
ended on Monday and ministers are now considering all the responses
before putting a final list to Parliament for approval, after
which companies like EDF Energy will be able to come forward with
formal planning applications.
EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "Our project
will provide a boost to the Somerset economy by hundreds of millions
of pounds. We expect around 5,000 people to work on the site at
peak and to create 900 permanent jobs during operation."
Monday's visit was also criticised by campaign groups Kick Nuclear
and Stop Hinkley.
Nuclear spokeswoman Nancy Birch said: "It's ironic that Huhne
should be singing the praises of the nuclear industry at Hinkley
Point just days after an independent report revealed that soil
around the power station is heavily contaminated with cancer-causing
enriched uranium. The government's indifference to the dangers
of nuclear power and its waste products is astonishing."
Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey added: "Instead
of promoting the Hinkley C proposal and cosying up to EDF, Chris
Huhne should be sticking to official Liberal Democrat policy.
Until the coalition turned it upside down, this was opposed to
a new generation of nuclear power plants in Britain and committed
to our electricity supply coming 100% from renewable sources in
2050. Huhne says he won't subsidise nuclear power, but the truth
is he intends to do it by the back door. No nuclear plant has
been built in the UK or France without some form of state support."
Pictured top (left to right) Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson,
EDF Energys Managing Director of New Nuclear Builds, the
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne MP,
and EDF Energys Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz looking
at plans for the new power station; (centre) with Bridgwater College
students Naomi Irish and James Dickson at the new energy campus;
and (above) how the proposed new power station may look