Press release for immediate use
Protesters from all over the UK will be joined by the new Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, on a mass trespass demonstration at Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Hundreds are expected to converge at a weekend protest camp before many attempt to scale the fence surrounding land earmarked for the controversial Hinkley C power plant in Somerset.
The Stop New Nuclear Alliance says arrests are expected. ‘The government is refusing to acknowledge that its ‘new nuclear’ strategy is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary, so we’re being forced to raise our game,’ says spokesperson Nancy Birch.
On Saturday 6th October, hundreds of protesters will help to wheel symbolic barrels of radioactive waste through the streets of nearby Bridgwater. The march aims to highlight the stockpile of used nuclear fuel that will be stored at Hinkley Point if the new power station gets the green light.
“The new EPR reactors being proposed by EDF Energy will produce spent fuel that is so hot that it will have to be stored on site for over 100 years,” Nancy explains. “If the government gives the go-ahead for eight new nuclear power stations around the UK, everyone’s back yard will become a toxic waste dump.”
On Monday October 8th, protesters aim to scale the fence around the Hinkley C site and scatter seeds in a symbolic attempt to reclaim the damaged land. “EDF Energy is already clearing the land despite the fact that is has not received full planning permission or, indeed, funding approval from its Paris HQ,” Nancy adds.
She continued: “The company is abusing the planning processes and we believe that this is a clear indication of its contempt for the wellbeing of the British people and their environment. Such attitudes are not acceptable in a high-risk sector such as nuclear energy.”
Shana Deal, a member of the Stop New Nuclear Alliance, says further damage to the land must be avoided at all cost. “The government and EDF are hell-bent on pushing through ‘new nuclear’ despite clear evidence that the policy will be impossible without massive public subsidies and a big hike in energy bills. We are calling on the public to fight this policy tooth and nail. Germany is creating a nuclear-free future that is sustainable and affordable. We can do the same here. We want a future, not a disaster.”
For more details contact:
Camilla Berens / Stop New Nuclear Alliance: 07980-509986
Katy Attwater / Stop Hinkley: 07980-731896
Notes to the editor:
EDF Energy has received local authority permission to carry out ‘remediation work’ on the land earmarked for Hinkley C. However it has not received planning permission for the construction of the new power station.
The itinerary for the protest is as follows:
Saturday 6th October
11.30: Assemble King Square, Bridgwater (nuclear waste barrels piled up next to EDF’s offices. Photo opportunity for press)
12.30 – 1.00pm: Procession through town centre
1.30 – 3.30pm: Rally with speakers including Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND and environmental journalist Oliver Tickell. A video message will be broadcast by LibDem MP for Wells, Tessa Munt.
4.30 – 5.30pm: Die-in at Hinkley Point nuclear power station. A shuttle bus service will be provided for protesters and media.
Monday 8th October
Mass trespass at the Hinkley C clearance site. A total of 577 seed balls will be scattered on the site - one for each day since the Fukushima Daii-chi nuclear disaster.
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, will be present at the mass trespass and will give a speech at the central gathering point. The location of the gathering point is a field just off the access road to Hinkley Point, about half a mile from the main entrance (police will direct media to the location).
Media access: please note – on Monday 8th October police will have temporary traffic lights installed on the road leading to Hinkley Point nuclear power station. No traffic will be allowed beyond this point. However, we have assurance that media vehicles will be allowed through. Large broadcast vehicles should park in the lay-by on the left hand side just before the entrance to the main protest site (police will be indicating where the protest site is). All other vehicles should park in the lay-by about 400 yards further up the road on the right hand side. Please ensure that vehicles are parked in lay-bys and not on the main road.