Hundreds of demonstrators who blocked the main access road to Hinkley Point power station near Burnham-On-Sea on Monday (October 3rd) to highlight their opposition to plans for two new nuclear reactors have hailed the action a success.
The action came after the power station’s owner, EDF Energy, applied for planning permission to build on the site, which is one of the locations proposed by the Government.
Monday’s nine-hour blockade attracted supporters from all over the UK and some even came from as far afield as Ireland, Germany and Belgium.
Stop New Nuclear spokesperson Andreas Speck claimed the blockade had been successful in putting the government and EDF on the back foot.
He said: “Today was a celebration of resistance against the government and EDF Energy’s plans to spearhead the construction of eight new nuclear power plants around the UK.”
“This blockade shows that people who understand the true dangers of nuclear power are prepared to use civil disobedience to get their voice heard. The government has hoodwinked the public into believing that we need nuclear power to keep the lights on. But this is totally untrue.”
And fellow campaigner Angie Zelter hit out EDF’s claims that Hinkley Point is sustainable. She said: “Over its lifetime, Hinkley will consume more energy than it produces – if you take into account the energy used to extract uranium and the power needed to store radioactive waste for hundreds of years. It doesn’t add up.”
“Radioactive waste from the proposed new ERP reactors will be so toxic that it will have to be stored on the site for over 100 years. With the growth in extreme weather conditions there is no guarantee that this waste can be stored safely.”
During Monday’s protest, the campaigners also released 206 helium balloons with each balloon representing a day that has passed since the explosions at the Fukushima power plant in Japan earlier this year.
EDF said of 500 employees at the power plant, only essential staff had been called in and they had arrived by bus at dawn. Deliveries had been re-scheduled, but the station had still generated power.
EDF wants to build a the new power station, Hinkley C, at the site by 2020, which it says would provide enough energy for five million homes.
The Environment Agency has recently announced that the deadline on the public consultation into Hinkley C has been extended from 6th October to 15th December.