June 23, 2011
of Hinkley Point nuclear power station moves step closer
multi-billion pound expansion of Hinkley Point power station near
Burnham-On-Sea came a step closer on Thursday (June 23rd) when
the government announced the nuclear plant is on a list of eight
sites deemed suitable for new power stations by the year 2025.
The announcement comes despite the Fukushima disaster in Japan
when the future of nuclear was called into question in several
countries when the huge earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown
in the reactors with radioactivity leaking from the plant.
The plans have still to be debated and voted on in Parliament,
but Ministers expect that, with a pro-nuclear majority in the
Commons, the plans will win a final go-ahead later this year.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: "Around a quarter of
the UK's generating capacity is due to close by the end of this
decade. We need to replace this with secure, low carbon, affordable
However, Andreas Speck from Stop New Nuclear, an alliance of
eight pressure groups opposed to the nuclear expansion, said campaigners
would continue to fight the proposals.
He said the group would continue to oppose the plants "more
than ever" and will also blockade the Hinkley Point site
during a demonstration on 3rd October.
"We believe the nuclear programme is not safe - and Fukushima
is the latest example of that - but it's also not needed,"
Friends of the Earth also argues the UK's energy needs should
be met through "clean renewable power", adding "The
government is obsessed with putting a new nuclear millstone around
EDF spokesman Gordon Bell told Burnham-On-Sea.com that Thursday's
announcement was "a key step in the planning process."
He added: "We now look forward to the Parliamentary vote
to ratify the National Policy Statements before the summer recess.
On that vote, we are encouraged to note the broad cross-party
support on the need for new nuclear, which has been re-stated
by senior politicians from all the main parties in recent weeks."
In March, Sedgemoor District Council expressed a number of concerns
about the Hinkley Point expansion, as reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com