Press release, Stop Hinkley Campaign, 23/4/13
EDF “preparing to pull-out” of Hinkley C
Lay-offs from EDF’s new Hinkley C development are a sign that the project could be on the verge of collapse, according to local campaigners in Somerset.“With today’s announcement of further lay-offs at Hinkley C, it looks like EDF could be preparing to pull-out,” said Theo Simon of the Stop Hinkley campaign.“There is a growing tide of challenges now being raised against the new nuclear plant – including doubts over its radioactive waste plan, EU competition laws, lack of adequate investment and the continued failure to reach agreement over fixing our future electricity prices in advance – so it’s not surprising that EDF are ready to cut their losses and run.
But it will of course be a blow to the people in West Somerset who have pinned their hopes on EDFs PR promises of jobs and prosperity for all”.“The scary thing is that, despite EDFs assurances that it is not “holding a gun to the governments head”, this announcement may also be another attempt to up the pressure on failing negotiations over the guaranteed future energy price, which EDF want to fix for the next 40 years at twice the current rate, at our expense. If it is a negotiating ploy, it’s a very cynical way to play with the livelihoods of the people getting laid off. It doesn’t bode well for the reliability, loyalty or honesty of the French state corporation, which wants to tie the fortunes of our county and our national energy supply to its own until the next century”.
“The sad situation now facing Hinkley C workers highlights the negligence that the County and District Councils showed towards the interests of Somerset and it’s people when they jumped so compliantly onto EDF’s bandwagon without first making sure that the project was economically and ecologically sustainable. I hope that people will be remembering that when they vote in next week’s county council elections, and checking where candidates stand on Somerset becoming a radioactive waste dump for the next few thousand years”.Stop Hinkley Press Release
Hinkley C decision “a political scandal” say local campaigners
Local campaigners say that todays decision to grant planning permission for EDF’s Hinkley C project is no surprise, but does nothing to answer the serious questions which now hang over the project.
“I don’t think anyone in West Somerset believed that the public consultation last year was anything more than an elaborate, undemocratic sham, and that in itself is a political scandal,” said Theo Simon of the Stop Hinkley campaign. “Today’s decision is a rubber-stamping exercise, but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground. EDF don’t know what they will do with the radioactive waste Hinkley C would produce, they don’t have the investment they need now that Centrica have pulled out, and they have threatened to walk away unless the government underwrite their costs and fix the nuclear electricity price artificially high for consumers.”
“No other business in this country would get planning permission without a waste management plan, and this industry produces the most hazardous waste known to humankind. David Cameron promised there would be no new nuclear without a solution to the waste issue, but today Ed Davey has granted EDF permission regardless. Cameron also promised there would be no public subsidy, but now his government is negotiating precisely that, and apparently willing to lock us all into paying double the original price quoted for nuclear, for the next 35 years!”
“If the billions the government are prepared to commit to keeping EDF in profit were spent on creating jobs in renewables, energy efficiency and home insulation, we could cut our energy bills AND create thousands of sustainable jobs. Off-shore wind is now set to deliver power cheaper than nuclear by 2020, when the government say we will have the “energy gap” that justifies new nuclear. But with the best will in the world, Hinkley C could not now start generating till the mid 20s. EDF’s other new reactors in Europe are now many years over schedule and many billions over budget.”
“It’s becoming apparent to everyone but the government that the nuclear emperor has no clothes. It makes no sense financially, environmentally or in terms of our energy needs. It’s time to put it out of it’s misery and save the government any further embarrassment. We need clean green 21st century solutions to 21st century problems, not a toxic white elephant only kept alive by government bailouts and inflated electricity bills.”
Contact: Theo Simon, Stop Hinkley Campaign, 07455 325 961
Stop Hinkley Press Release, 4/2/13
“Worst ever week for Hinkley C”
Theo Simon, a spokesperson for the Stop Hinkley campaign group in West Somerset has hailed the past 7 days as “the worst ever” for EDF’s delayed new nuclear plans.
“This has to be one of the worst weeks for EDF since they began their Hinkley C project. Cumbria has rejected hosting an underground dump for their nuclear waste, the true public cost of storing our existing waste – 67.5 billion – has just come to light, and now EDF’s major investment partner Centrica has pulled out. In what is also the anniversary week of a triple meltdown at Fukushima, it’s reasonable for anyone to question whether the government should ever have started along this route.”
And he rejected EDF’s statement that momentum behind Hinkley C “remains strong” saying, “In reality they are ready to pull out if the government doesn’t fix them a favourable price to guarantee their profits, with taxpayers and consumers covering the hidden subsidies. On top of this, it’s now clear that future generations of taxpayers are expected to pick up the tab for managing the 10,000 year waste pile they will leave behind in West Somerset – there is nowhere else to put it. If the Secretary of State gives Hinkley C the go-ahead now in March it will be a national disgrace, which I’m sure will be challenged in the courts, even if our politicians are too spineless to make a stand”.
Contact: Theo Simon – 01749 860767 or 07455 325961
Nikki Clark – 07736 930069
Stop Hinkley Press Release
31 January 2013
Axe Hinkley C call after Cumbria decision
Southwest campaigners are calling for the planned nuclear development at Hinkley Point to be axed, following Cumbria County councils decision not to accept a future underground waste dump in the Lake District . Anti-nuclear activists say that without a long term destination for it’s radioactive waste, EDF’s Hinkley C project can only mean a permanent nuclear dump staying in West Somerset – for many thousands of years.
The proposed “Geological Disposal Facility” (GDF) was intended to safely store all the UK’s radioactive waste – including Somerset’s – deep underground for the next 10 thousand years. Yesterday (30/1/13) Cumbrian councillors decided by a vote of 7 to 3 to reject the government’s search for a suitable site in their county.
Cumbria had already been considered – and rejected – for a similar project in the 1980s, but experts then pronounced the Lakelands too geologically unstable for storing the immensely hazardous radioactive waste, which is the end-product of nuclear power. So far no other counties have volunteered to host the permanent deep waste store, despite offers of cash incentives from the government.
“In order to claim that the future waste from new nuclear plants can be disposed of safely, the government and the nuclear lobby needed the Stage 4 exploratory work to go ahead in Cumbria,” said Theo Simon, a spokesperson for the local Stop Hinkley campaign. “In fact, David Cameron said in 2007 that investment in new nuclear would not be possible unless the nuclear waste issue had been dealt with.
“EDF’s planning application for Hinkley C has rested on geological storage for its toxic spent fuel rods being available later this century, but Cumbria was the only county in Britain that would even consider hosting such a facility. Now the fig-leaf of the Cumbrian promise has dropped away. The emperor has no clothes – and the EDF has no GDF.”
Campaigners believe that the collapse of the plan will open the way to legal challenges if EDF gets the go-ahead for Hinkley C from the government in March this year.
“Even fish-and-chip shops in Somerset have to have a credible plan for dealing with their waste,” said Mr Simon. “You can’t build something as hazardous as a nuclear power station just on wishful thinking.”
And he rejected statements from EDF that they will continue on the assumption that a GDF will eventually exist. “Just because EDF executives will be long dead when Hinkley C becomes no more than a radioactive tip doesn’t mean that they are absolved from all personal responsibility,” he said.
- Theo Simon – 07805 666239 or 07455 325961
- Nikki Clark – 07736 930069
Dawn blockade leaves nuclear workers locked out
At 6am this morning 10 protestors blockaded access to EDF energy’s nuclear sites at Hinkley Point, preventing the morning shift from starting work. 4 people in arm locks formed a barrier across the main access road at Wick Moor Drove in a bid to prevent further ground clearance work at the planned Hinkley C site and to protest at EDF’s plan to extend the life of aging reactors at the Hinkley B station.
Sitting beneath a banner saying “Nuclear Power – not worth the risk” Bristol tree-surgeon 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, the governments 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 a radioactive waste
dump here for hundreds of years.” The early morning blockade caused long tailbacks for scores of workers contracted in to perform maintenance work on the the existing reactors at Hinkley B, EDF have signalled their intention to re-licence the reactor again in 2016.
Bridgwater mum Nikki Clark from South West Against Nuclear said, “Not only do we not need new nuclear, we certainly don’t need to extend the life of the existing reactors even further. Just this year alone reactor no 4 in the B station has scrammed at least three times. EDF like to call these emergency shutdowns ‘unplanned outages’ but this deliberately conceals the fact that these ageing
reactors are now in a dangerous condition. In 2008 the regulators threatened British Energy with closure of the site. The reactors do not have any fewer cracks in the graphite core now than they did then. Do we have to have our own Fukushima here in Somerset before we abandon this insanity and embrace a renewables revolution in the UK?”
Stop Hinkley spokesperson Theo Simon said, “We support 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 it’s 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.”
At the protest: 07530 947554
Stop Hinkley campaign: Theo Simon 07805 666239
STOP PRESS For immediate release. 31/10/12
There’s change on the Horizon
Southwest against Nuclear campaigners have reinforced their commitment to stopping nuclear new build in it’s tracks in the wake of the announcement yesterday that Hitachi intend to purchase the Horizon consortium from R-WE and E-ON after they pulled out of nuclear new build earlier this year.
Hitachi are the designers and operators of the notorious Reactor No 4 on behalf of the Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO as they are otherwise known. The dangerous reactor 4 whose overcrowded fuel pool (1500 assemblies) is balanced precariously a 100 feet up in the air, thus far the technology to remove the fuel from the pools doesn’t exist, and so the possibility of it’s collapse during any earthquake larger than M6 continues to threaten the whole of the northern hemisphere. The only reason that Hitachi want to build here is because they aren’t allowed to build in Japan which is a year and a half into it’s on-going nuclear crisis. The Nuclear industry is in denial that it’s in a terminal decline. This much is evident in the price that Hitachi are reported to have paid for Horizon.
The amount paid is double the amount analysts expected them to pay (£700 million) – this is because Hitachi can’t build anywhere else in the world. Says campaigner Nikki Clark “British taxpayers should take heed, if Hitachi get the go ahead from government at some point in the future then just like EDF, they would be looking to recover their losses from us the taxpaying public.”
At the Energy & climate change select committee second evidence hearing back in May energy minister Charles Hendry claimed that the coalition energy policy is robust enough to go forward without nuclear power, if this is the case then why on earth are the government doggedly clinging onto their nuclear policy? It is increasingly clear that the UK energy policy including the forthcoming Electricity Reform Act is more about building nuclear facilities than it is about creating sustainable energy policy to take us through the 21st century.
Nikki Clark went on to add “Japan, Germany & the USA three of the worlds six major nuclear powers are turning against nuclear. We have no doubts that the same will happen here it’s just taking longer because of the government’s refusal to question it’s energy policy, and the massive amount of money spent by government and the industry on misleading the public for their own ends. The consequence of this, is that the bill for the taxpayer will be much larger because of the governments mistakes, unless of course the taxpaying public open their eyes to how they are being duped. We’re confident that UK taxpayers don’t really want to chuck unending subsidies at an industry that is going to leave all future generations a legacy of toxic waste no one can get rid of. Nuclear power is not going to give us the fairer future that the unions are demanding right now renewables will.”
Campaigners say that nuclear is already dead in the water, the nuclear energy capacity will be overtaken by renewables by 2018 before they would even finish construction of the first station. To quote the former Hinkley A senior electrical engineer Peter Smith “with wind what you see is what you get with nuclear what you see is definitely not all you get.”
Furthermore, the Hitachi reactor designs are not proven as they have not been assessed by the UKs Generic Design Assessment process that EDFs planned reactor the EPR is still undergoing. It is noteworthy that the government some time ago stopped claiming that their nuclear policy is going to make some contribution to combatting climate change, since then they’ve focussed on their scare mongering about the lights going out, but it seems any deal with Hitachi would just contribute to any potential energy gap rather than mitigate it, because the Generic Design Assessment is likely to take between 3-5 years to approve the reactor design at the generic level.
Concerned citizen Shana Deal says “It’s completely ridiculous that government are ignoring the fact that we could roll out a programme of energy efficiency and install renewables on a massive scale whilst at the same time creating a million climate jobs. This would avoid the much feared energy gap completely, instead they’re clinging onto their doomed policy the way the captain of the Titanic clung to his ship as it sank. It’s time for the people to say no to subsidising new nuclear. Nuclear power is already the most heavily subsidised industry in the world according to the recent million climate jobs report. The public are no longer willing to subsidise corporate profits while all around them communities are losing their jobs and the kids can’t afford an education.”
STOP PRESS For immediate release. 30/10/12
Getting away with it?
Two protestors from the Stop New Nuclear Mass Trespass at Hinkley Point Somerset who had been bailed to Bridgwater police station were released on Monday without charge, despite the fact that one of them had been arrested in possession of a set of boltcroppers as they made for the fence in order to cut through it. The police could have charged the two with the offence of ‘going equipped’ but it seems that EDF are so desperate to try and stop the campaign grabbing headlines that they have decided not to press charges.
EDF knew if they had pressed charges this could potentially have resulted in the cases going to crown court where some of their business practices could have ended up under the microscope. It seems that EDF are keen to avoid this. Said Shana Deal of SWAN “EDF management tried to claim on local television during the action that they were allowing us to trespass, a completely ludicrous claim given that just six months ago in February they took us to the High court in London and sought a permanent injunction against at least six of us to try & prevent us from trespassing on the development site. Are EDF really trying to tell the public that they would deliberately allow protestors to prevent their own employees from going about their lawful business?1 We suspect the unions might have something to say about that!”
All of this comes as the anglo-french governments nuclear aspirations lie in tatters. EDF dont want to build new nuclear without a blank cheque and the government are trying to figure out how to give them a blank cheque without further alienating an already angry British public who are sick of bailing out big business and underwriting successive inept governments. At the third evidence session of the select committee on energy and climate change this week the select comittee accused EDF of inflating the price of new build to get more money out of the public purse.2 This is all impacting the preparation of the forthcoming and already much delayed Energy Bill (which has just been delayed again until late November). The Bill, which is being introduced under the guise of ‘market reform’, is actually a new piece of legislation designed to artificially skew the playing field in favour of nuclear. Despite all of this the government and corporate giant EDF still can’t agree on a ‘strike price’ for the cost of any electricity produced from the proposed reactors. Yet the shocking truth is that if nuclear produced energy was commercially viable then EDF wouldn’t be looking for a strike price at all as there wouldnt be any chance of the market price being below the so-called strike price! Said campaigner Nikki Clark “The British public should be very weary of the government giving blank cheques from our purses to subsidise a deadly dangerous unnecessary industry, especially at a time of having ‘austerity’ imposed on us. There is a campaign demanding the creation of one million climate jobs that outlines how we might do that.3 Why on earth would the public want to finance new nuclear when there are much safer, cheaper ways of creating energy and jobs?”
The remaining four of the six people arrested during the Stop New Nuclear mass trespass are going before Taunton Deane Magistrates court in Somerset tomorrow to answer their charges. The defendents are defiant and vow to continue the fight. Seems like it’s anyone’s guess what will happen tomorrow. They will be at the court along with their supporters from 9:15am Further details can be found on the Stop New Nuclear Website http://www.stopnewnuclear.org.uk
photo opportunity outside the courthouse from 9:15 until 9:45 for interviews call 07736930069
Notes to Editors
1) Nigel Cann of EDF on local TV news tried to make out that they were allowing the trespass to take place and also in the written reports on the subject see here:
2) Freelance energy journalist Tim Probert summed up the session with a pithy yet fairly accurate Twitter post describing the bargaining relationship between EDF and the government: “DECC: ‘How much is it?’ EDF: ‘How much have you got?’” At the heart of the negotiations is the strike price, a guaranteed price per MWh of electricity generated that would be received by EDF. In the contracts for differences (CfDs) context, this means that if the price in the market falls below the strike price, then EDF would be paid the difference. At the evidence session the strike price for nuclear was repeatedly compared with the expected and desired long-term cost for offshore wind at GBP100/MWh, as offshore wind would be the main renewable alternative in the absence of nuclear.
3) The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group has launched a “People’s Petition for a Million Climate Jobs”. It calls on the Government to give “urgent and serious consideration” to the recommendations of the Million Climate Jobs report and lists its key points. It is backed by a growing number of MPs and national trade unions http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/sites/default/files/1MillionClimateJobs_2010.PDF
LONG STANDING ANTI NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNER DIES
It is with huge sadness that Stop Hinkley announces the untimely death of Crispin Aubrey.
The Stop Hinkley campaign is coming to terms with the news that spokesperson Crispin Aubrey suffered a fatal heart attack on Friday afternoon in the midst of the preparations for the planned protest against Hinkley C next weekend.
Crispin played a key role in the preparations and was due to speak at the rally next Saturday. Crispin’s wife Sue, also part of the Stop Hinkley campaign, has bravely requested that the ‘show must go on because it’s what Crispin would have wanted’.
The Aubreys were involved in the original protest against Hinkley C over twenty years ago. Crispin took a lead role in the public enquiry and coordinated the campaign which was heralded a success as the reactor was never built.
Crispin was a life-long campaigner and had been a journalist all his working life, starting at the Hampshire Chronicle and London’s Time Out magazine. He wrote widely on environmental issues and was committed to the promotion of renewable energy.
Crispin was well respected contributor to the Stop Hinkley campaign and to the fight against new nuclear in the UK.
Page jumps to past releases
Press Release: 21st August 2012
More Bad news for ‘new nuclear’ from Japan
The bad news just keeps on coming from Japan. Fukushima Daiichi, the multiple reactor site that went into a triple meltdown last year, and is continuing to pour radioactivity into the environment1 is under the spotlight as scientists and medical specialists from around the world focus on the unfolding environmental and health consequences of the on-going nuclear crisis there.
After looking at Japan’s provisional mortality figures, in an article just published2, Joseph J. ManganoMPH MBA (Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project in New York) cautiously writes about an early estimate of 38,700 additional unexplained deaths in Japan in just one year which he says must be taken seriously and underlines the need for Fukushima health studies to be made a top priority, in Japan and in other affected nations.
This follows hot on the heels of results from a study that show the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the common pale grass blue butterfly in Japan, with offspring having more severe abnormalities.3 This study was prompted by “serious concerns about [the] biological influences of radiation on living organisms that could ultimately produce long-term destruction of ecosystems and cause chronic diseases”.
In the human population, earlier this year it was revealed that over 35% of nearly 40,000 Fukushima children examined (with an average age of 10) have abnormal thyroid growths, far in excess of what would be normally expected. There is a strong concern that waiting for further analysis of the data from the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey and the completion of follow-up examinations in two years’ time will lead to irreversible health damages in these children and therefore there are calls for more frequent screening examinations plus other measures, such as biopsies, to be taken.4
Shana Deal, a campaigner for South West against Nuclear, said “It is outrageous that a letter from Dr. Shunichi Yamashita, 5 the Fukushima Medical University Radiological Resident Health Management Centre Chief, to thyroid specialists all over Japan has instructed them not to offer second opinions to concerned families. There is ongoing repression of those who have been exposed to radiation and suppression of health data.”
Separately, it was also reported that 60 percent of the Fukushima children under 12 who were tested have diabetes6 that is another disease that can be caused by radiation exposure.
The disturbing facts coming out of Japan cannot be ignored as the public is faced with new nuclear starting with the proposed build at Hinkley Point. The industry propaganda last year claimed ‘no immediate health effects’ – a bit of spin they get away with because everybody knows that many of the health problems caused by exposure to radiation don’t become clear until some years after exposure. Many health experts are shocked at the scale and immediacy of the health effects being experienced by Japan that are a strong indicator of just how severe this on-going nuclear crisis is.
“The effects and implications of adding to the continuous radioactive pollution of our world is abhorrent and unethical and there should be a global ban on the development of new nuclear everywhere”, Shana concluded.
For more information: www.southwestagainstnuclear.wordpress.com
or call Cecily Collingridge on: 01278 423360
(1) ‘After 500 days, Fukushima No. 1 plant still not out of the woods’, 24 July 2012, the Asahi Shimbun
“According to calculations by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, a total of about 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive cesium was being emitted from the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors as of June. That is about one-80 millionths of the level that was being spewed immediately after the accident.”
(2) ‘Let the Counting Begin – Fukushima’s Nuclear Casualties’ by Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project in New York; article published 15th August 2012 in Counterpunch
(3) ‘The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly’ by Atsuki Hiyama et al; published 9 August 2012 in Nature.
(4) ‘Position Statement: What Is Currently Happening to Fukushima Children?’
Consideration of thyroid disorders, pulmonary function, bone marrow function based on the studies from the Chernobyl nuclear accident, etc. by Michiyuki Matsuzaki, M.D., Internal Medicine Department, Fukagawa Municipal Hospital, Hokkaido, Japan; May 19, 2012
(5) ‘Fukushima Children’s Thyroid Examination: How Shunichi Yamashita would like doctors to deal with the results.’ 4th May 2012
(6) ‘Tokyo Newspaper: 6 in 10 Fukushima children tested have diabetes — Head of Tokyo-area Medical Clinic: We are expecting diabetes in children from Fukushima radiation’; published 16 May by ENENews
“Dr. Miura, the director of Iwase general hospital conducted health checkup for people in temporary dwellings in Sukagawa city Fukushima. The result showed 6 in 10 children under 12 years old have diabetes.
“Dr. Miura states this is abnormal situation, but is guessing it’s because of the lack of exercise or stress.”*
*a) According to information on the Diabetes UK website, stress does not cause diabetes, although it may make the symptoms worse in people who already have the condition.
b) Children are not renowned for sitting still.
*** apologies that we’ve only just got this up but it’s still recent and relevant
IPC Preliminary meeting slammed as a shambles
Campaigners today slammed the IPC process as a sham and the preliminary meeting as a shambles. The meeting which saw hundreds of people in attendance was slow to get going due to sound problems with no-body in the meeting able to hear properly despite Public Address systems being in place. Campaigner Ros Beauhill said “It was a bad choice of venue, it was inaccessible for disadvantaged people who don’t own cars or for those reliant on public transport whose closes link was a twenty minute walk away. The meeting was a complete travesty it began with letters on chairs to inform participants that EDF wish to make material changes to their application, over an hour was spent discussing this reducing the time for the engagement of interested parties which was questionable as the IPC had received this letter on the 9th March and so have had plenty of time to inform interested parties prior to the meeting as should have happened.
This meeting brought into sharp focus how this process in intended to steam-roll through government projects, the meeting was characterised by bullying and intimidation. Both local authorities and other community interest groups requested that the timetable is extended because of
being under-resourced in terms of being able to scrutinise the application which runs to over 30,000 pages across more than 500 hundred documents Despite the power to extend the deadline being
within the IPC’s powers as they stands right now, the lead commissioner Andrew Phillipson decided to have a joke at the public’s expense quipping that “we are flexible – people can feel free to submit their representations early.” Said campaigner and local mom Nikki Clark “This lack of democracy would be bad enough if what was being considered was a biscuit factory but the fact of the matter is the proposed development is nuclear reactors, these are the most dangerous type of developments ever built by man. To be denied a voice on issues that concern millions of people across the region and as far away as Wales now, as well as the impact on untold future generations of people, just shows that this whole process is a disgrace. In the event of a nuclear meltdown as has happened at Fukushima vast areas of the UK could become uninhabitable, and that’s before we even talk about the waste, material concerns don’t get more serious than this kind of consideration do they?”
Under the recently passed Localism Act,  the IPC is going to be abolished and turned into the National Infrastructure Directorate on the 1st April, something else that was communicated to participants with letters on chairs at yesterdays meeting. Said SWAN activist Joanne Baker “This process was designed to be prejudicial and undemocratic when it was introduced under the previous Labour government, however the coalition have taken it and made it their own in a way only the coalition government can. The Localism Act claims that ‘The government trusts people to take charge of their lives and we will push power downwards and outwards to the lowest possible level, including individuals neighbourhoods and professionals and communities as well as local councils and other local institutions’ yet whilst using the language of empowerment, it’s actions couldn’t be less empowering and decentralising. For example, the IPC’s power to extend the timetable of examination under the new National Infrastructure Directorate will be removed and given to the Secretary of State – ironically an Act of obvious disempowering centralisation.”
For further information or interviews call 07736930069
Note to editor
 The Localism Bill was introduced in December 2010, received Royal Assent on 16 November 2011 and was amended in July 2011.
Penny drops for local authority as IPC process begins
Last night local authority Sedgemoor District Council met to discuss the Hinkley Point C planning cash shortfall as Sedgemoor councillors finally see the light about EDF’s intentions towards local communities. Whilst the councillors drew attention to the problems EDF’s proposed development is going to create, which include increased homelessness; lack of investment for regeneration in the town; added strain on local services and a long-lasting negative impact on tourism; local resident Shana Deal said “I can’t believe that the penny is only just dropping for the local council regarding the consequences of rolling over for mega corporations. Sedgemoor have been too cosy with EDF thinking that this project will be a gravy train when the reality that this is a community being pimped out by central government to dirty dealing EDF. The District Council have been a walkover to EDF for too long, the idea that creating a toxic legacy which poses huge dangers for the host community and wider society from the day it is switched on can be mitigated is completely absurd.”
The Sedgemoor District Council meeting came ahead of today’s preliminary meeting of the Infrastructure Planning Commission which is to set out which issues are to going be examined relating to EDF’s application for two mega-nuclear reactors and the 60 year accumulation of high level spent fuel waste that EDF want to dump here. After last weeks hugely successful protest at Hinkley Point which saw over a thousand protestors and nearly two hundred blockaders SWAN campaigner, and local mum, Nikki Clark said “People are beginning to wake up to the enormity of what is being forced on them by central government and to the fact that the government has thrown Democracy out of the window with their corrupt national policy statements and planning act 2008. Fukushima has shown what a stupid idea keeping radioactive waste at the coast is, let alone how negligent it is to build new nuclear when there are far better alternatives. Unlike the current fleet of nuclear reactors whose waste is currently moved to Sellafield in Cumbria, the proposed reactors would make even dirtier and hotter wastes that cannot be moved for at least 160 years turning Hinkley into the Sellafield of the Southwest, Despite this the IPC are already attempting to rule out discussions of nuclear safety, security, protection of people and transport of nuclear material.”
Local campaigner Ornella Sabeine says “The recent corruption of governance report (see http://www.ace.org) showed how government data has been misused by DECC to create fear among politicians about energy blackouts and carbon targets causing worried MP’s not only to vote in favour of nuclear power, but also to deny the public a voice on the gravest issues human societies have ever been faced with. Who are these DECC officals? What level of collusion is there between these civil servants and the energy company operatives who are working within DECC as was revealed by the Guardian last year?  From policy through to planning this whole thing is completely corrupt, we demand that this sham process is suspended and that the national policy statements are made the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. The government should embark on an immediate amd decisive programme of energy conservation and a roll out of renewables across the country which will create clean green sustainable jobs, and put us on track for significant reduction in carbon emissions.”
photo opprtunities will be available outside the Sedgemoor Auction Centre from 9:45 until 10:15 for further information or interviews call 07736930069
Notes to editors
 A briefing of ministers on the Corruption of governance report was held in parliament at the end of January, copies of the report are available here
 An outline of the meaning of changes to the planning act can be found here
 A freedom of information request made by the Green MP Carloine Lucas revealed in the Guardian last year that energy company workers are embedded inside the D.E.C.C. Department, giving them unreasonable access to influence over civil servants and possibly government ministers
No More Fukushimas
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After over 24 hours in custody Theo Simon of Shepton Mallet, and David Jesse of Taunton, appeared before Taunton Deane Magistrates court. Officials were stunned by the packed courtroom as well-wishers and supporters packed into the room to follow the proceedings, one official commented that “this was the most people we’ve ever seen here”.
Magistrates, after taking into consideration the time they’d spent in custody decided to release the defendants with just a conditional discharge, and no fines or court costs as they accepted that the defendants were men of good character and that they had been engaged in a legitimate peaceful protest for the last two and a half weeks.
The defendent’s solicitor told the protestors outside the court that the police hadn’t favoured a night time eviction, but despite this EDF pulled the eviction time forward from the scheduled 7:30am to just before daybreak, said Shana Deal “ EDF are trying their hardest to keep local opposition from becoming visible not content with stitching up the legal processes they want to silence protest too. We are pleased that twice this week the courts of our land have upheld and respected our right to voice dissent at EDFs plans.”
Defendant Theo Simon commented on his release “This was just one battle in the fight against new nuclear we’ll be back on March the 10th & 11th with Stop New Nuclear to surround and blockade Hinkley Point, we’re not going anywhere until EDF and the government get the message that nuclear power is not clean not safe and not necessary”.
Reclaim Hinkley Protestors Arrested
The occupation of Langborough Barn on EDF’s Hinkley Point Development site came to an end today, as over 20 Bailiffs and 10 police officers began the eviction at 6am this morning. It took around three hours for them to remove the Barnstormers. Specialist climbers were brought in after one of the Barnstormers Emily, bravely climbed onto the roof of the barn, whilst another, Theo Simon, locked himself to a window frame, high in the barn wall. Theo and a second local man were arrested. And are being detained in custody overnight to appear at the Taunton Deane Magistrates court tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. Theo’s wife Shannon on hearing the news remarked “Theo cares passionately about this land and about moving towards a more sane and sustainable future which means one without nuclear power. he is prepared to stand up for what he believes in and I am behind him 100%”
On monday Nikki Clark and Theo Simon appeared in the High Court in London where were EDF gained a high court injunction against them to prevent them accessing the land at Hinkley Point. Theo may be facing imprisonment for allegedly breaching the injunction.
Said local mum Nikki Clark “I think that it is outrageous that a concerned parent can be thrown into jail for standing up for his community and our children, EDF are the real criminals and it is them who should be jailed for their criminal destruction of our community when they haven’t even made a decision on whether or not to build Hinkley C”
Note to editor
Taunton deane magistrates court is st johns rd TA1 4AX court appearance begins at 9:30am all media inquiries to 07530947554 or : 07805666239 there will be photo opportunities from 9:30am onwards.
Reclaim Hinkley Eviction
Occupiers calling themselves the barnstormers are being evicted right now from the property called Langborough Barn at the proposed Hinkley Point C development site by energy giant EDF. Following the high court case on Monday, EDF have now been given possession of the property and the eviction has begun. Yesterday saw EDF trying to to evict the protest camp without any writ papers but fortunately the protestors were not taken in by their antics. Said campaigner Nikki Clark “Ever since court on Monday we’ve tried to establish a channel of communication with EDF about the time neccesary to leave the protest site. After hearing nothing from them at all they attempted to ask us to leave without serving us the correct papers at 3pm yesterday afternoon. We’ve been concerned to avoid a middle of the night eviction as has happened at Occupy London due to the very different nature of our camp here in rural somerset. Unlike the occupy london camp the buildings we have squatted pose numerous threats to health and safety, as do the public rights of way if forced to move our equipment in the dark”
EDF finally managed to find their paperwork first thing this morning and the eviction began at 6:45 am. Theo Simon one of the barnstormers is refusing to leave the site and has climbed into the barn structure in a last ditch attempt to save the bat roost and surrounding 400 acre site that EDF are waiting to trash, Said Mr Simon “We are all that is left between this beautiful habitat and corporate bullies EDF. The reason it has come to this is because all democratic ways to challenge what is happening here have been exhausted EDF hasve ridden roughshod over local communities many of whom are unhappy with EDF. This preliminary work must be stopped,and there must be a full investigation into how these corrupt policies and planning decisions have made and implemented, at both the national and local levels”
Occupants of the development site are angry that laws have been changed and democratic dissent denied as the changes have removed the right to question government policy on nuclear power, yet the recent corruption of governance report published by unlock democracy has shown to that DECC officials have misled MPs with the use of data in the overarching energy policy and the nuclear energy policy that were asessments of market forces and not projections of future energy supply and demand. Said occupant Shana Deal “Many people describe new nuclear build as a neccessary evil because of the propoganda put out by the UK government and the French state owned company EDF and have only reluctantly accepted the creation of more nuclear waste that we will have to live with forever, but this recently published report raises some serious questions that need to be answered about the governments policy. It is outrageous to think that nationally we are about to accept this policy when the governments own data shows that it is not neccessary. This is an issue even more serious than the MP’s expenses scandal because the consequences of this policy decision are so dire and irreversible. We demand a full commons investigation into this issue. And a full review of the locally taken preliminary works decision.”
Note to editor
1 corruption of governnance report availaible here
Nuclear Energy Company seeks high court injunction against protestors
For immediate release Feb 18th
Nuclear energy company EDF, today served papers on activists occupying a farm on the proposed site for nuclear new build at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The papers, served by Squire Sanders of London are applying for possession of the premises and in an unprecedented move, an injunction against all future protests, at this site, this includes any protest by other local residents such as campaign group Stop Hinkley.
Said Shana Stone “We will fight them all the way this isn’t just about Hinkley Point, it’s about defending democracy, the rights of future generations and the entire direction of Britains energy policy”
Although EDF have obtained permission to remove all historic building, sites of special scientific interest and most importantly the vegetation which includes ancient hedgerows and veteran trees, this all comes before they actually have permission to build the 500ha site.
Theo simon one of the occupants named in the papers said “EDF want to silence all protest at the site, but what is happening here is a complete perversion of the democratic planning process. For this corporation to be given the green light to destroy our common natural heritage before the public scrutiny of their plans is finished is an absolute scandal”
Another person named in the papers, local resident Nikki Clark said “Make no mistake the UK government and the french government via EDF are in collusion on this issue, as has been demonstrated by the freedom of information requests made by the guardian and Caroline Lucas last year. These papers tell a lot about what the anglo-french governments think of our fundamental human rights to freedom of expression & freedom of assembly and association. It’s bad enough that our right to a public inquiry has been removed in favour of a process designed to steamroller this fraudulent energy policy through. But their attempts to criminalise our legitimate right to protest now and in the future, through an injunction is a disgrace. We aren’t surprised at EDF playing dirty – with two of it’s employees, languishing in jail for spying on protestors it looks like they’re trying to get their revenge.
Occupier Jesse Smith said “All economic activity creates jobs we just have to choose the kind of jobs we want. Nuclear power is not safe, not clean and not necessary as is demonstrated by the government’s own evidence. This government’s energy policy is a joke, it’s not about keeping the lights on or energy security, it is about sustaining the unsustainable.”
The persons named and unnamed, will appear in court on Monday 27th February in the Royal Courts of justice in London and are expecting a large demonstration of support local & national outside the court.
all media inquries to:
site phone: 07530947554
or : 07805666239
Hinkley Occupation enters fifth day
For immediate release 16th Feb
Activists who have occupied a farm to oppose ground clearance for a new nuclear site in West Somerset today entered the fifth day of their stand-off with the French energy company EDF.
The protesters entered Langborough Farm at Hinkley Point on Saturday night and established a camp around derelict buildings which are believed to house hibernating bats. They want the “Preliminary Works”, which will clear and level several hundred acres of Somerset coastal land to be halted for 12 months until EDF know if they actually have permission to build their proposed reactors.
“Currently EDF have no permission to build here, but astonishingly they DO have permission to destroy this precious part of our common natural heritage” said farm occupant Theo Simon. “If this land and these habitats are lost and then they don’t get planning permission, EDF will have committed an act of unprecedented ecological vandalism. If on the other hand, as many locals now suspect, the planning permission is already a “done deal” then that means the current IPC public consultation is an expensive sham.”
Mr Simon (53) said that their camp has now been strengthened with food and water and other supplies brought in by local well-wishers. Yesterday campers were visited by West Somerset District Councillor Jon Freeman, who told them how he thought the planning process had been corrupted by pressure from central government and the edf. today they were advised by a retired Hinkley B engineer who explained his technical reservations about flaws in the EDF’s reactor and waste storage plans.
Another occupier, Nikki Clark, said, “Already our support is growing here, people who had begun to give up hope, have been empowered by our occupation, and they are free to walk up the footpaths to visit us. There is a lot of resentment in this are at the way this project has been steam-rollered through, but we’re here to draw a line on the ground. The wanton destruction of this beautiful land must be halted until there has been a genuine democratic process the beginning of which must be Parliament deeming the National Statements as fraudulent in the light if the corruption of governance report.”
The new residents are all looking forward to the stop new nuclear surround & blockade of Hinkley Point on March 10th & 11th to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima catastrophe. Around 400 people descended on the station last October to disrupt EDFs operations & voice their dissent at the so-called Nuclear Renaissance.
Site Contact: 07933920425
Note to editor
Details of the Stop New Nuclear surround & blockade available here:
South West Against Nuclear website:
Reclaim Hinkley Point occupiers issued with nuclear emergency tablets
For immediate release Mon 13th Feb
Anti nuclear protesters occupying longborough farm at Hinkley point in Somerset were today issued potassium iodate tablets by county council officer Tony Hurry. Mr Hurry who is in charge of evacuation in the event of a nuclear accident at Hinkley B also issued EDF corporate calenders to the protest group. Farm occupant Nikki Clark said “we are pleased that EDF have now recognised that we are lawful local residents on this land, but we are concerned that potentially life-saving advice about evacuation plans for people who live in places outside of the detailed planning zone (DPZ) such as Bridgwater is not readily available even on-line!” It takes 10 days currently to get this information from the county council and it has to be applied for in writing.”
The occupants of Longborough farm are angry that EDF has been given the green light to destroy the Somerset Conservation area, even though they do not yet have permission to build on it.
Local resident Theo Simon says “If these new reactors go ahead, the people of southwest england will be living in the shadow of enforced evacuation long after Hinkley B is decommissioned in 2016. Hot waste which has to be stored here for at least 160 years means that our children’s children’s children will be left to deal with the toxic legacy of our generation Balloons released at the recent Blockade by Stop New Nuclear travelled to Bristol, well beyond the DPZ, within an hour.
Reclaim Hinkley Point – The Squatters have moved in!!!
Press Release: Feb 12th
Protesters have for the second time in a week occupied the development site at Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset.
In the early hours of this morning anti-nuclear activists took possession of an abandoned farm on the site which is protected under International Environmental law. The site contains a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI) and a protected wetland (R.A.M.S.A.R site) but it is due to be cleared by power company EDF in the coming months. Protesters are angry that permission has been given for this work to begin before the company have won permission to build their controversial new nuclear plant.
Somerset born Theo Simon said “We want to reclaim this land and make sure that the wildlife that inhabits it and forages here is protected. Giving permission to clear the land before Planning Permission has even been granted clearly gives the message to EDF that permission is a done deal. I, and many others like me, want proper public consultation and debate before we commit to a technology whose toxic legacy will remain for generations.”
Local media reported this week that EDF will begin site clearance in the coming weeks, although EDF claimed the opposite when protesters occupied the trees on Tuesday.
The first phase of the preparation works will include removal of hedgerows and all trees,
before stripping all topsoil and levelling the landscape, all this despite the fact that planning permission has not been granted for a new nuclear power station at the site.
Nikki Clark of SWAN said “Bat ecologists have explained to us that 86% of Bat crime is caused by the destruction of roosts carried out by developers. We have been told that the so-called ‘mitigation’, which involves building alternative roosts, that has been proposed by EDF has never been scientifically tested to prove that it actually works.”
Questions have been raised about the Government’s process of developing energy policy.
In the corruption of governance report last week it was revealed that the ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ was instigated against the advice of scientists, and is indicative of wider corruption within the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The new minister brought into replace Chris Huhne, who stood down last week to face criminal charges, is Lib Dem – Ed Davey. Despite having produced the party’s anti-nuclear policy in 2006, he has now made a complete U-turn and is supporting the coalition in promoting new nuclear build in the UK.
Shana Deal, one of the occupiers in Langborough Farm, said today: “If EDF’s activities continue, this nature reserve will be lost forever. Not even EDF are willing to guarantee that a new nuclear power station will be economically viable, and I for one do not want to see this beautiful land turned into a Toxic Waste dump.”
The farm premises is accessible by public footpaths and visitors are being welcomed by the protesters.
For background and further information phone: 07530 947554
Hinkley Tree Protestors Evicted
For release: Feb 8th 2012
Protesters occupying trees at Hinkley Point in Somerset were evicted today by police and a 5-man climbing t2eam hired by the French company EDF. The mature oak woodland is due to be cleared this month so that preliminary work can begin on building 2 new nuclear reactors and a radioactive waste dump at the site.
The eviction came around 11am, after the occupiers had spent a sleepless night in sub-zero temperatures. One of the occupiers, Michael, said “Security guards and dog-handlers kept us awake all night with taunts and intimidation from barking dogs.”
However, the occupiers had been reinforced by supplies delivered overnight by well-wishers from the local area. Cannington resident, Roy Pumfrey, visited the site three times over the last couple of days, trying to deliver supplies to the protesters. On his final visit to the site this morning, Mr. Pumfrey said ” I have concerns about Group 4 Security’s interpretation of the law and ordinary people’s civil right’s. Their guard’s told me that I was trespassing when I was in fact using public rights of way . “
In the morning a climbing team, with 5 police officers in attendance, climbed into the trees and began removing belongs and climbing gear, before telling the remaining occupier, Taunton man, David Jesse that he was trespassing and would be forcibly removed if he did not come down. After leaving the tree peacefully, Jesse was searched and then released by police, who warned him that he could have been charged with Aggravated Trespass, as his presence in the trees was preventing the chainsaw crew from going about their lawful work.
Speaking for the South West Against Nuclear, Theo Simon of Shepton Mallet said, “It appears that EDF have acted ruthlessly and probably illegally, to end a legitimate peaceful protest. Clearly, if the current work is only to clear dead elms as EDF claim, then the protesters in the oak trees were not in any way preventing this work. In the light of this company’s record however, we do not expect them to play clean. This is a company who last November had 2 employees jailed and were fined 500,000 euros (£428,000) in France for spying on anti-nuclear campaigners. Astonishingly, this is a company who have also been given the green light to destroy a beautiful part of our Somerset heritage, before they have even won planning permission for their proposed Nuclear project”.
Concerned Locals take to the Trees at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater,
For Release: 7th February 2012
Early this morning, concerned locals occupied threatened, ancient trees at the proposed site for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, near Bridgwater in Somerset. Michael Hunt, one of the tree occupiers said of their action : “ We’re here to stop work on this criminal development and to protect the ancient trees that are surrounded by a special conservation area but mysteriously excluded from it “The protest was precipitated by last week’s shocking revelation in a report by Unlock Democracy and the Association for Conservation of Energy entitled “ A Corruption of Governance?”
The report reveals in detail how MPs and Parliament based their national energy policy, specifically their policy to build new nuclear power on falsified information. The report outlines that, on the basis of the Government’s own evidence, we do not need new nuclear to ‘keep the lights on’ or reduce CO2 emissions. It goes on to show that, on the basis of the Government’s own evidence, it is not the best way to cut carbon. In everyday terms, the building of new nuclear power stations to provide electricity is likely to mean higher fuel bills.
The report concludes that this corruption of governance can only be rectified if Parliament re-opens this debate, and MPs vote on this issue having seen the correct information.
EDF’s plans to disrupt lives and livelihoods by digging up the 400 acres landscape and beautiful coastline in the coming weeks has already begun with the trees, says local campaigner Sarah Stone “We managed to get an emergency tree preservation order last year because the trees were threatened by this development, but WSDC refused to make it a full order after six months because they claimed they’d given permission to EDF to trash the site even though to date this decisions is still not published. This whole application has been characterised by lies, deceit, and corporate bullying it’s made a complete joke out of the British planning system and if they won’t protect the trees until there is a proper decision about nuclear new build then we will”
Notes to Editor
1) Corruption of Governance report was published last week and presented to minsiters at
Parliament. It can be found here http://www.ukace.org
2) The trees were subject to an emergency tree preservation order last March which was
dropped by WSDC in October last year.
For interviews contact Theo on 01749860767 or 07805666239
So Much for Democracy
For release: Mon 23rd Jan
Activists from Bristol South West Against Nuclear (SWAN) along with Stop Hinkley, are visiting the
Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) headquarters today to register their discontent with
plans to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
The IPC has been recently created to facilitate the speedy implementation of national infrastructure
projects such as power stations, roads and the high speed rail link.  This is a way for developers
to avoid time consuming local planning enquiries, where local residents traditionally have their say.
Says Ornella Sabeine of SWAN “EDF have allowed people only 6 weeks to wade through their
130,000 page application, we calculated that the time allowed requires a reading rate of no less
than 3,095 pages a day,the registration period ends tonight (23 Jan) at 1 minute to midnight. “
You can register here http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/projects/south-west/hinkley-point-cnew-nuclear-power-station/have-your-say/
The IPC may spend just six months, or at most a year considering the application, however they
won’t be questioning whether nuclear power is a viable or necessary option. This has already been
dictated by government policy, a policy which is alleged to be “based on a false summary of the
analyses carried out within government” according to the association for the conservation of
energy and Unlock Democracy.(see notes to editor)
Instead, the government wants to limit the focus to practical and logistical issues, taking the heat
off their nuclear policy, and denying people a voice on the issue of nuclear risks. Bridgwater mom
Nikki Clark claims that the consultation process has gagged her ability to comment on the issues
that really matter to her “So much for democracy! Apparently we’re only allowed to comment on
subsidiary effects of the development, and even then we have no assurance that our opinions will
be considered. Of course I will say what I think, but when I comment on nuclear risks, I’ll be doing
so knowing that the IPC will be allowed to completely disregard my opinion, it makes me wonder
what is the point of bothering to object at all?”
Communities across Somerset are up in arms at the impact the French project would have on the
already burgeoning roads infrastructure, employment and quality of life.
SWAN is mobilising in Bristol to surround and blockade Hinkley Point on 10th and 11th March, in
solidarity with the people of Japan, as they mark the first anniversary of the CONTINUING nuclear
disaster in Fukushima Prefecture. Bristolian Zoe Smith commented – ” This is an important issue
for people in Bristol, if an accident were to happen at Hinkley or at Oldbury to the north, both of
which are in line for additional nuclear installations, we could be affected by fall-out & we could
even be within contaminated territory known as exclusion zones”. The whole city could potentially
need to be evacuated. Nuclear power is not the answer to our energy needs, it is dirty, dangerous
Notes to Editor
For photo’s and interviews on Monday 23rd January between 11am &11.30am.
please be outside the The Infrastructure Planning Commission
Temple Quay House
contact : email@example.com