Friday, 18 December 2009

Anti Nuclear Campaigner goes to Copenhagen

Stop Hinkley campaigner Crispin Aubrey will be attending the Copenhagen climate conference and objecting to the use of nuclear power to try and solve climate change.

At midday on Monday he plans to help hand in a 50,000 strong petition against nuclear power put together by a coalition of European groups, 'Don't Nuke the Climate'(1).

Crispin, from Nether Stowey in West Somerset, was the Stop Hinkley Coordinator during the 1988-89 Hinkley C Public Inquiry and has recently returned to active campaigning for the group since plans were put forward for a twin reactor. As a wind energy journalist he campaigned in favour of the twelve turbine West Hinkley Wind Farm which has now been withdrawn by EdF who bought out the rights to the wind-farm when they bought 500 acres of land for their proposed EPR reactor.

The Sustainable Development Commission has said that replacing all existing nuclear generation will reduce UK carbon emissions by just four percent (2). Crispin says there are better, faster ways of solving the climate crisis:

"Nuclear power produces harmful greenhouse gases during construction, uranium mining, fuel production and decommissioning stages. We could have cleaner renewable energy, harnessing natural resources providing quicker cuts in carbon emissions if only governments would listen. Losing the wind-farm at Hinkley to a massive reactor with its dangerous nuclear waste to be stored locally for 160 years is a lost opportunity."

(1) Don't Nuke the Climate events at Copenhagen:

(2) Reducing CO2 emissions - nuclear & the alternatives

Antinuclear Meeting in Bristol 17 November 2009

Representatives from:
South Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth (FOE)
Stop Hinkley,
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE),
Bristol Greenpeace
and Bristol City Council
met in Bristol to form a coalition against nuclear new build at Hinkley and Oldbury.

Reg Illingworth from SANE reported on his recent visit to Finland. He went to have a look at the nuclear power station being built at Okiluoto. He said that although the build is three years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget the local council love it because they receive massive funding from the 4,200 foreign workers who are all paying high local taxes. He was interested to see the Okiluoto nuclear power station because the same type of reactor is proposed for Shepperdine, near Oldbury, home of the decrepit forty year old nuclear power station still producing power, despite its dangerously eroded graphite core. The council that represents Shepperdine is also in favour of building a new nuclear power station, because they say that it will provide lots of jobs.

One of the problems at Okiluoto has been the multinational nature of the workforce. This would very likely be a problem at Shepperdine too. The local council at Okiluoto is perfectly happy about the extended build time since they are raking in huge amounts of local taxes. This could well be the case in Shepperdine too.

Of course Okiluoto is on an island and much of the building material is delivered by boat. At Shepperdine a huge landing stage would have to be built, which would cause considerable ecological damage to the Severn estuary. The nuclear power station at Okiluoto uses sea water to cool down, but the nuclear power station proposed for Shepperdine would be too big to use the Severn River. It would have to have huge cooling towers.

Mark Wright, Liberal Democrat Bristol City Councillor and Parliamentary candidate told the meeting that he is about to propose a motion to Bristol City Council condemning nuclear power and nuclear new build. He will put out a press release to this effect. The meeting asked Mark if he would also propose that Bristol should become a Nuclear Free Local Authority again.

Stop hinkley have produced a leaflet giving a list of reasons why we should oppose the building of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley, together with the address to send these objections to, as part of the "consultation process". You can get a copy of this leaflet from the stop hinkley website
We will soon have a similar leaflet for oldbury.