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Press Association: Activists blockade nuclear plant

Anti-nuclear protesters have completed a 24-hour blockade of the entrance to Hinkley Point nuclear power station, marking the first anniversary of the disaster at the Fukushima power station in Japan.

The Stop New Nuclear alliance hailed the rally as the "largest anti-nuclear protest in three decades" with up to 1,000 demonstrators surrounding the site on Saturday.

Protesters were also demonstrating over plans to build the first new nuclear reactors in Britain on the site.

A number of protesters stayed overnight with over 100 people blocking the main entrance, stopping all traffic from entering or leaving the site, which is about 10 miles from Bridgwater, in Somerset.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was rocked by explosions and damage to the reactors after systems failed following an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in north east Japan.

Hinkley Point is seen by protesters as the new "front line" in the fight against the use of nuclear power.

Nancy Birch, spokeswoman for the alliance said: "We've successfully concluded the first ever 24-hour blockade of a UK nuclear power station.

"This is a major victory for the anti-nuclear movement and a sign that the tide is turning against the government's nuclear renaissance.

"A mini tent city emerged as over 100 people remained outside the main gate at Hinkley overnight - camping on the tarmac in makeshift tents."

The blockade formally ended when Japanese Buddhist monks performed a prayer for the victims of the tsunami that precipitated the Fukushima disaster.

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