Published: November 23, 2012
Four arrests as protesters hold human blockade outside Hinkey Point

A group of protesters campaigning against the expansion of Hinkley Point, near Burnham-On-Sea, blockaded access to the power station on Friday (November 23rd).

Police made four arrests after ten protesters halted access to the power plant on Friday morning, as pictured here.

Four people in arm locks formed a barrier across the main access road in a bid to prevent further ground clearance work at the planned Hinkley C site and to protest at EDF's plans to extend the life of aging reactors at Hinkley B.

Organisers hailed the protest a success, saying the gates to the power station were blocked for four and a half hours with no workers getting in or out.

One of the campaigners, Zoe Smith, said: "We want the destruction of land at the proposed Hinkley C site to stop. EDF still don't have planning permission for the new nuclear plant and the government's energy policy is in tatters."

"With Centrica pulling out and the long awaited Electricity Reform Act delayed, there is not even enough investment to finish the project. If the Tories fix the electricity price for nuclear so that the project can go ahead it will leave high level radioactive waste stored here in ponds for hundreds of years."

Stop Hinkley spokesperson Theo Simon added: "We supported this protest. New nuclear is dead in the water. We need public investment in a renewables revolution which could create a million climate jobs and cut energy bills through a programme of home insulation and energy-efficiency. With its massive marine energy resource, West Somerset is perfectly placed to lead the way in renewables, but EDF's plans would turn it into a toxic waste dump for our grandchildren."

An EDF spokesman told "We respect the rights of individuals to peaceful and lawful protest, however, we are also mindful of the pressure these events can place on the local community with whom we have strong links."

"The safety and security of all our nuclear sites is our overriding priority. We believe strongly that low-carbon nuclear has a vital role in maintaining UK electricity supplies in the future. As the Government has said, the UK continues to need new nuclear power. We also greatly appreciate the support of the large majority of local residents who recognise the contribution we make to the area and the benefits that a new power station would bring to Somerset."

"Hinkley Point B continues to generate enough low carbon electricity for around one million homes each year, and employs more than 500 people plus an additional 200 permanent contractors. Hinkley Point C is expected to generate a £100 million annual boost to the South West economy during construction and provide up to 25,000 jobs."


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