unable to answer anglers' fears about fishing impacts at Hinkley
firm EDF has not carried out any studies on the numbers of fish
likely to be affected by the installation of Hinkley Point C's
new water in-take and out-take pipes in the Bristol Channel near
Burnham-On-Sea, it emerged during a special meeting with local
anglers on Thursday night (February 16th).
matter was raised during an event attended by over 100 fishermen
and boat owners from across the Burnham area, held to give them
an opportunity to air their concerns on EDF's expansion of Hinkley
the meeting at the Oaktree Arena, Pete Nicholson, Chairman of
Burnham Water Users Forum - which represents local anglers and
boat users - asked EDF's Construction Project Advisor, Hugh Hutton,
why the planned water out-takes and in-takes for the power plant
would be "located in the middle of the best fishing grounds
in the whole channel."
asked: "Given the location, do you have any data about fish
stocks that would be affected?"
Hutton responded: "We have carried out studies on marine
life living on the sea bottom there, but I don't have information
about fish stocks that could be affected."
point has been noted and if we have missed anything we can only
apologise and ask you to raise the matter with the Infrastructure
boat angler Chris Evans added: "We first brought up these
points about the locations of the water in and out-takes two years
ago and EDF assured us at the time that our concerns would be
noted, but they haven't acted upon them. It seems as though EDF
is just trying to ride over us."
Boat owner Dave Saunders added: "It's ridiculous that this
was documented two years ago and nothing has been done."
Mr Hutton said the in-takes and out-takes would need at least
six metres of sea water to operate correctly and that building
them further out into the channel would add "substantial
cost" to the project.
He also tried to reassure the anglers that a number
of measures would be taken by EDF to ensure the impact on fish
stocks is minimal. "A 5mm wide mesh will go over the water
in-take to prevent fish being pulled into the cooling system and
we'll also be using acoustic fish deterrence measures to deter
fish from the immediate area."
He also tried to dampen concerns about fishing restrictions
in the area. "Health and safety restrictions will be in place
around our proposed new jetty during the development phase, but
they will only be in place while construction work is underway.
We will try to minimise those times."
the meeting, EDF answered a number questions on wide-ranging topics
including radioactivity, sediments, the impact on Combwich, and
When asked whether the water effluent coming out
of the cooling out-takes in the Bristol Channel would be radioactive,
Mr Hutton responded: "Some discharges will have very low
levels of radioactivity, but these will be very closely monitored
and be tightly regulated so there is no need for concern."
after the meeting, Simon Stroud, Chairman of Burnham Boat Owners
Association, said he was pleased with how the meeting had gone.
He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I think it was a very useful
meeting. We were really pleased that over 100 people attended.
There are still some outstanding questions that need to be addressed,
such as the point about fish stocks, but I think it was positive."
EDF's David Eccles added: "We addressed many of the concerns
raised and have tried to reassure the water users that our plans
will have little or minimal impact on them."
Pictured: Top, the audience listening to the
meeting; EDF's Hugh Hutton with Simon
Stroud, Chairman of Burnham Boat Owners Association, and President
John May; and, above, EDF using a chart to show the area
of the Bristol Channel near Burnham impacted by the Hinkley Point