Town councillors in Burnham-On-Sea have this week expressed concern over plans for liquid effluent to be discharged into the Bristol Channel from the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Councillors raised a number of issues during a meeting where they assessed proposals from NNB Generation Company for an environmental permit to discharge cooling water and liquid effluent into the sea.

Cllr Louise Parkin said: “Burnham is a tourist resort and cannot afford to have any effluent washed up on its beaches.”

“We need an expert to assess this application in detail on our behalf. The importance of the coastline in Burnham, Brean and Berrow cannot be emphasized enough.”

Cllr Bill Hancock said: “We should definitely raise our concerns regarding this application. It could be a huge issue in years to come.”

Cllr Paul Young agreed, saying: “We need solid assurances that there will be no detrimental impact on the town in the future.”

Eileen Shaw, Council Clerk for Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, is to seek expert help on assessing the application by NNB, a joint venture firm between EDF Energy and Centrica.

The source of the discharge includes cooling water from the operation of turbine condensers at the planned power station and process effluents from water treatment. NNB says there would not be any health risk.

The Environment Agency is currently inviting comments on the application during a formal consultation period on the plans, which runs until December 15th.

Brian Payne, spokesman for the Environment Agency, told “We welcome people’s views on this application and will carefully consider their comments before we progress to the next stage of our decision making process.”

“This application relates to the discharge of cooling water and process effluent during operation of the power station. Our next stage will be to conduct a further consultation on our draft decision for this application when members of the public will have another opportunity to provide us with comments.”

Mr Payne added: “The Environment Agency is already consulting on two other applications for environmental permits that would be required to operate the proposed station; one relating to discharges and disposals of radioactive waste, and the other for standby power supplies. We will also conduct further consultations on these two operational applications in 2012.”

Comments on the proposals can be sent to The Environment Agency, Permitting Support Centre, PO Box 4404, Sheffield, S9 4WF or by email to and quote the application number EPR/HP3228XT/A001.

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