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Stop New Nuclear newsletter no 11, 20 December 2011

Dear all,

welcome to our last newsletter for 2011. While we think we had some successes this year - not least the big blockade of Hinkley Point on 3 October - it is also clear that we end the year with major challenges ahead of us, if we really want to stop nuclear new build in Britain. We will need to make huge efforts in 2012, and the first major effort is the mobilisation for the surround Hinkley action and the 24 hour blockade one year after the beginning of the Fukushima catastrophe, on 10 and 11 March 2012. We need your help to make these actions much stronger than the past blockade, so please help us to spread the word.

News from nuclear new build

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) issued interim approval for Areva's EPR reactor design and Westinghouse's AP1000 design on 14 December 2011. The two agencies claim that "they are satisfied with how the designers of both EDF and Areva’s UK EPRTM and Westinghouse's AP1000 reactors plan to resolve a number of remaining issues" (see http://www.hse.gov.uk/newreactors/regulators-issue-interim-dac-soda-gda-key-milestone.htm).

While this is not yet a final approval of the reactor designs, it gave both companies some boost in confidence, and has to be seen as a setback for anti-nuclear campaigners. Basically, the ONR and the EA are satisfied that these reactor designs are safe and have no negative environmental impact.

The announcement is highly relevant, as design approval means that the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will not consider reactor safety when considering an application (see below).

Hinkley Point

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has now accepted the application of EDF Energy for Hinkley Point C, and everyone who wants to have a say in the application process needs to register with the IPC. We have been told that the deadline for registration is 23 January 2012.

According to the IPC's advise notes, "when you register you must include a summary of the key issues you want the IPC to focus on. There will also be an opportunity to provide a more detailed statement at the examination stage provided that you register at this stage."
You can register with the IPC at http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/projects/south-west/hinkley-point-c-new-nuclear-power-station/.

Meanwhile, serious concerns have been raised about the effects of nuclear discharges on the South Wales coast. A consultation by the Environment Agency into proposals for Hinkley Point C has just ended. Submissions by Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), CND Cymru, Friends of the Earth Cymru and the Stop Hinkley Campaign have raised concerns about planned radioactive marine discharges and aerial emissions from the proposed plant. They claim that independent research has concluded that "there are major data gaps concerning radioactivity concentrations along the entirety of the Bristol Channel coast".

The very informative submissions by NFLA are available at:

EDF awarded the contract for site-preparation works at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to Kier Bam. The contract announcement, worth more than £100m, was made on 13 December 2011 by Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF.

Somerset County Council has granted EDF a time extension until the end of February 2012 to complete clean-up work at Hinkley Point, including removing a mound containing asbestos left over from old construction. Stop Hinkley objected to this on the grounds that they'd already had six months to do the job and the real purpose was to clear the site in preparation for Hinkley C. Signs along the road referring to the "Hinkley C construction site" are therefore inaccurate.

Stop Hinkley took the battle to Downing Street on 6 December when a petition signed by almost 13,000 people opposed to Hinkley C was delivered to No. 10

Stop Hinkley members Jo Smolden, Suki Lilienthal and Katy Attwater were joined by Wells MP Tessa Munt and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas for the presentation, which was covered in the Western Daily Press and other newspapers.

Collecting the 13,000 signatures, the majority of which were hand-written by Somerset residents, has been a major enterprise for the campaign. Thanks to all those who helped make our voice heard.

The petition received a less friendly welcome when it was presented on the same day at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in Whitehall. Despite being officially addressed to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, he would not agree to receive it and it was instead handed in to a doorman.

Stop Hinkley issued a press statement criticising this treatment and pointing out that DECC is allegedly packed with numerous consultants working for EDF, the proposers of Hinkley C.

Commenting on this, Caroline Lucas said: "Companies such as the big six energy firms do not lend their staff to government for nothing – they expect a certain degree of influence, insider knowledge and preferential treatment in return…"

Stop Hinkley added: "Employees of a French owned nuclear power company are lobbying on the inside of government while the passionate British public are excluded on the outside. How can this be fair in a democracy?"

The wording of the petition says: "We, the undersigned, strongly oppose the plan by EdF to construct a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Instead, a government-backed programme of energy saving and clean renewable energy would combat climate change and avoid the risks of a catastrophic accident, dangers to health and the storage of highly radioactive waste at Hinkley for 160 years."

A version of the petition will also be submitted by Tessa Munt to the House of Commons.

Wylfa

The National Grid is set to begin a period of public consultation during the new year into plans to erect new lines and pylons linked to the potential construction of Wylfa B on Anglesey. Horizon Nuclear Power is bidding for a new Wylfa B to be one of the next generation of new nuclear power stations constructed around the UK, and would need the National Grid to build infrastructure to connect it to the UK’s energy network.

Westinghouse officials stated that the December 14 issue of an interim design acceptance confirmation (I-DAC) puts them in good stead to win a new reactor order in the UK. Horizon Nuclear Power plans to make a reactor technology choice for UK construction early next year, while a decision by NuGeneration Ltd, a consortium of GDF Suez and Iberdrola which plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sellafield, is further down the road.

Protest! Support Caedegog Farm, Llangefni 21 January

2.30pm, Saturday 21 January, Car Park, Glanhwfa Road, Llangefni.

Come to support the brave family of Caedegog Farm who are standing firm against attempts to grab their land for Wylfa- B.

Speakers: Richard Jones, Caerdegog Farm, Dr Carl Clowes PAWB, Dr Malcom Carroll, Greenpeace, Angharad Tomos, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

For more information see http://stop-wylfa.org/wp/?p=282 or contact People Against Wylfa B.

Mobilise for Surround Hinkley and Blockade Hinkley in March 2012

The coming year will be crucial, if we want to stop new nuclear in Britain. From the information above it is clear that the nuclear industry is getting ready, and we are the only ones who can stop them. To ‘Surround Hinkley’ on 10 March 2012 is to demand to have a voice in decisions about our energy future. Help to make this a festival of creative resistance with music, art, theatre, banners, and whatever takes your fancy! To mark the end of the ‘Surround’, there will be a gathering at the main gate of Hinkley for a rally and music.

The preliminary timeline of events is:

Saturday, 10 March 2012

  • 12pm: assemble in front of Hinkley Point
  • 1pm-3/3.30pm: surround Hinkley Point.
  • 3.30pm-6pm: rally and music in front of the main gate of Hinkley Point
  • 6pm: End of the "surround Hinkley" action. Spokescouncil to begin the blockade of Hinkley Point.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

  • Blockade continues until about 2pm

Please help to spread the message by either downloading the flier, or ask us to send you a pack. We welcome some donation to cover postage, but even if you can't - we need to get the message out!

Please pledge to take part in the action(s) at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/pledges, and encourage friends, colleagues, family, etc to also take the pledge. We need to send a strong message that we will not accept new nuclear, and that we will resist.

Get in touch with us if you want to organise a minibus or put on a coach.

There are also plans for a regional event on 10 or 11 March at Wylfa, and we will provide more information as soon as it is available.

Training

In order to stop new nuclear power in the UK we need to work together efficiently and look after each other.

With this aim Stop New Nuclear are organising training for those planning to take part in the mass action at Hinkley Point, Somerset on
10th and 11th March 2012.

The free training will prepare people with techniques and strategies for civil disobedience and non-violent direct action, and provide reassurance and information for those new to this type of activity. It will also provide people with the tools needed for effective consensus decision making. These sessions will be invaluable in the formation of affinity groups (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affinity_group), and local networking.

If you feel you could help organise a training session in your area please get in touch. We will provide information and support to make it happen.

There will also be training for those interested in providing legal support during and after the action in February. These skills will be transferable to other campaigns you may be involved in.

This needs to happen soon. We have three months to prepare everybody and make this a powerful movement of resistance.

Contact
Email training [at] stopnewnuclear.org.uk
Phone 0845-2872381

Updates on trainings will be posted on our website at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/training.

Donate

The new action to surround Hinkley, and the 24 hour blockade, will need a lot of money to make them happen. We expect that we will need about £11,000 to organise the action, print fliers and posters, etc. While we don't start with nothing, we are nowhere near what we will need. We need your help to make it happen.

You can help us by organising a fundraiser, asking your local Quaker meeting to make a collection for Stop New Nuclear, or simply by donating and asking friends to donate.

Please give generously. You can donate online at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/donate, or you can send a cheque made payable to Stop New Nuclear to:
Stop New Nuclear
c/o 5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX
Thank you!

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