You are here

Wales online: Hinkley power station proposals ‘poses a threat to one million people in South Wales’

by Helen Turner, Wales On Sunday
Oct 2 2011

WELSH campaigners protested in Somerset yesterday against EDF Energy’s plans to build two new nuclear reactors – arguing they pose a threat to more than one million people in South Wales.

The new power station proposed for the site across the Bristol Channel at Hinkley Point would be just 15 miles from Barry. Cardiff and Newport are less than 30 miles away.

Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said: “When the Fukushima nuclear power station failed so disastrously in Japan earlier this year, President Obama ordered the evacuation of all US citizens within a 50-mile radius of the disaster site.

“A similar exclusion zone as a result of an explosion at Hinkley would mean the evacuation of more than one million people in Wales. Everyone in the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Neath Port Talbot and the city of Swansea would have to leave their homes.

“What this would mean for Wales is the unthinkable – a total breakdown of governance, irrecoverable economic and environmental damage, and social collapse.”

Anti-nuclear protesters joined residents in a rally close to EDF Energy’s regional HQ in nearby Bridgwater.

CND Cymru National Secretary Jill Gough said despite nuclear power being a tempting source of economic growth, it is not environmentally sustainable. She said. “Our children’s grandchildren will still be dealing with our nuclear waste and contamination.

“Our Welsh Government is unable to block the building of such large electricity generation projects in Wales and yet we are to be burdened with a new reactor at Wylfa (on Anglesey).

“Wales is surrounded by Hinkley Point, Oldbury (Gloucestershire) and Heysham (Lancashire) nuclear power plants as well as the reprocessing plant at Sellafield (Cumbria) – and radioactive contamination knows no boundaries.”

HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations Mike Weightman is expected to publish his final report this month into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station.

Last month the Office for Nuclear Regulation said the UK’s nuclear power stations had all started ‘stress tests’ as part of an agreement to test all facilities across Europe.

Mike Harrison, station director of Hinkley Point B, said: “The UK’s chief nuclear inspector’s interim report concluded that the UK nuclear power industry had reacted ‘responsibly and appropriately’ to events in Japan, ‘displaying a leadership for safety and a strong safety culture’. The report also found that analysis of Fukushima revealed no reason for curtailing the operation of existing plants, nor any significant gaps in the scope or depth of the safety assessment principles for nuclear facilities in the UK.

“EDF Energy will do whatever is required and we will implement all the recommendations when the final report is published later this year.”

Source http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/10/02/hinkley-power-st...

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer