Sunday, 28 October 2012

Making the World a More Dangerous Place: The Eager Role of Julia Gillard

By John Pilger

October 24, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - The Australian parliament building reeks of floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon-like portraits of prime ministers, bewigged judges and viceroys. Along the gleaming white, hushed corridors, the walls are hung with Aboriginal art: one painting after another as in a monolithic gallery, divorced from their origins, the irony brutal. The poorest, sickest, most incarcerated people on earth provide a fa├žade for those who oversee the theft of their land and its plunder.

Australia has 40% of the world’s uranium, all of it on indigenous land. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has just been to India to sell uranium to a government that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and whose enemy, Pakistan, is also a non-signatory. The threat of nuclear war between them is constant. Uranium is an essential ingredient of nuclear weapons. Gillard's deal in Delhi formally ends the Australian Labor Party's long-standing policy of denying uranium to countries that reject the NPT's obligation "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament".

Like the people of Japan, Australian Aborigines have experienced the horror of nuclear weapons. During the 1950s, the British government tested atomic bombs at Maralinga in South Australia. The Aboriginal population was not consulted and received scant or no warning, and still suffer the effects. Yami Lester was a boy when he saw the nuclear flash and subsequently went blind. The enduring struggle of Aboriginal people for recognition as human beings has been a fight not only for their land but for what lies beneath it. Since they were granted a status higher than that of sheep -- up to 1971, unlike the sheep, they were not counted – many of their modest land rights have been subverted or diminished by governments in Canberra.

In 2007, prime minister John Howard used the army to launch an "emergency intervention" in Aboriginal communities in the resource-rich Northern Territory. Lurid and fraudulent stories of paedophile rings were the cover; indigenous people were told they would not receive basic services if they did not surrender the leasehold of their land. Gillard’s minister of indigenous affairs has since given this the Orwellian title of "Stronger Futures".

The tactics include driving people into “hub towns” and denying decent housing to those forced to live up to a dozen in one room. The removal of Aboriginal children has reached the level of the infamous "Stolen Generation" of the last century. Many may never see their families again.

Once the “intervention” had got under way, hundreds of licences were granted to companies exploring for minerals, including uranium. Contemporary politics in Australia is often defined by the power of the mining companies. When the previous Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, proposed a tax on record mining profits, he was deposed by a backroom party cabal, including Gillard, who reduced the tax. Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that two of the plotters against Rudd were informants of the US embassy, which Rudd had angered by not following to the letter US plans to encircle China and to release uranium for sale to US clients such as India.

Gillard has since returned Australia to its historic relationship with Washington, similar to that of an east European satellite of the Soviet Union. The day before Barack Obama arrived in Canberra last year to declare China the new enemy of the “free world”, Gillard announced the end of her party’s ban on uranium sales.

Washington's other post-cold war obsessions demand the services of Australia. These include the intimidation of Iran and destruction of that country’s independence, the undermining of the NPT and prevention of nuclear-free zones that threaten the nuclear-armed dominance of the US and Israel. Unlike Iran, a founding signatory of the NPT and supporter of a nuclear-free zone Middle East, the US and Israel ban independent inspections. And both are currently threatening to attack Iran which, as the combined agencies of US intelligence confirmed, has no nuclear weapons.

The necessary inversion of reality and double standard require a “carefully orchestrated process”, the US embassy is assured by an Australian official quoted by WikiLeaks. According to the US cables, there are enthusiastic "Australian ideas" for "dredging up" information to help discredit Mohamad El Baradei who, as director of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009, repeatedly refuted US claims that Iran was building a nuclear weapon. The Director of the Australian Arms Control office is portrayed as a US watchdog, warning against "a slippery slope" of governments "exercising independent judgment" on nuclear matters. A senior Australian official, one Patrick Suckling, is reporting as telling the US that “Australia wants the most robust, intrusive and debilitating sanctions possible” against Iran. Suckling’s victims are today mostly ordinary men, women and children.

On 5 October, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, which includes Aboriginal groups from across the country, gathered in Alice Springs. They called for a moratorium on all uranium mining and sales. Indigenous women made a special plea to Gillard, recently ordained by the white media as a feminist hero. No response was expected.

On 17 October, all the testaments of obedience and servility to the mighty patron finally paid off when Australia was rewarded with a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, known in Canberra as “the top table”. The timing is striking. An attack by Nato on Syria or Iran, or both, has never been closer. A world war beckons as 50 years are marked since "the world stood still", wrote the historian Sheldon Stern. This was the 1962 Cuba missile crisis when the US and the Soviet Union came within an ace of nuclear war. Declassified files disclose that President John F. Kennedy authorised "NATO aircraft with Turkish pilots ... to take off for Moscow and drop a bomb."

The echo today could not be clearer

www.johnpilger.com

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Anti Nuclear Protest in France


On 23rd November last, near the town of Valognes, towards the northern tip
of the Cherbourg peninsula in Normandy, 800 people took it into their
heads to delay a train full of nuclear waste, in which action they were
successful. For the first time in many years, the French anti-nuclear
movement was seeing direct action at a mass level. For the first time in
many years, the anti-nuclear movement was speaking without fear, in
response to the thousands of Germans who have been blocking the same
nuclear-waste train every year for more than twenty years.

This action, in the most densely “atomic” region of the most nuclear
country in the world, proved unacceptable to the authorities. Just as the
steady drip-feed of “incidents” in power stations and reprocessing plants
has always been hushed up, so too has any kind of opposition to the
nuclear industry.

Which is why, too, in the same part of northern Normandy, some six months
later, police were given free-rein to disperse the anti high-tension wire
camp at Montabot. The cost in human terms was twenty-five casualties, five
of them serious. Next came a tidal wave of court-cases against nuclear
opponents: five charged over the action at Valognes; a mayor (the mayor of
Le Chefresne) held on remand, provoking his resignation along with that of
his entire municipal council; not to mention many assorted convictions,
including one actual prison sentence, for people who taking part in the
battle against the Cotentin-Maine high-tension line; and many straight
summonses intended to intimidate.

A further trial is to be held at Cherbourg on 9th October 2012. The three
defendants are all people who spoke to the media during the action at
Valognes. This is an across-the-board first for all political struggles,
that the mere fact of answering reporters’ questions should be answerable
before the law. The charges are: “direct provocation leading to people
assembling to take up arms”; “organizing an illegal demonstration”; and
“party to the destruction of private property”.

And what is the evidence to corroborate charges of so serious a nature?
Two or three interviews before BFM TV (a news channel), Le Figaro (a
national newspaper of a conservative bent) or France Soir (an Internet
publication formerly a national newspaper), alleged to establish the
defendants as self-proclaimed leaders commanding a flock of sheep-like
obedience.

This is not subtle. The intention is that events such as Valognes should
not in future be able to be supported by publicly formulated political
demands. Those who take part must be seen as thoughtless criminals,
irresponsible and crazy. There must always be seen to be leaders, in
denial of non-hierarchical modes of organization. The clear expression of
any sort of offensive, collective commitment is to be prevented. On our
side, the purpose is just that: to provide space for an insolent
connection between deed and thinking behind deed.

Beyond the dozy confines of a tribunal, such trials must always seem
preposterous. Which is why we are calling for the three defendants to be
overwhelmed by the broadest possible support. Why we are asking for you to
be present outside the court on the day of the trial.

ALL MEET: 9TH OCTOBER: 10 am - CHERBOURG LAWCOURTS.

Support the Valognes Three Collectives
legalteamvalognes@riseup.net

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Most EU Nuclear Power Plants ‘Unsafe’



By Julio Godoy

Most European nuclear facilities do not meet even minimum security standards. Credit: Monica S/CC-BY-ND-2.0

BERLIN, Oct 16 2012 (IPS) - The so-called ‘stress tests’ on nuclear power plants in the European Union (EU) have confirmed environmental and energy activists’ worst fears: most European nuclear facilities do not meet minimum security standards.

The tests on 134 nuclear reactors operating in 14 EU member states were carried out in response to widespread concern among the public that an accident similar to the catastrophic meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor in March 2011 could occur in Europe. According to the report, “EU citizens must… be confident that Europe’s nuclear industry is safe.”

But the findings of the report, released in Brussels on Oct. 4, suggest that, contrary to feeling safe, EU citizens have good reason to be afraid.

Only four countries “currently operate additional safety systems (e.g. bunkered systems or a ‘hardened core’ of safety systems) independent of the normal safety systems, located in areas well protected against external events.”

The stress tests also found that in “four reactors (located in two different countries), there is less than one hour available to operators to restore the safety functions in case of loss of all electrical power and/or ultimate heat sink.” Additionally, “in ten reactors, on-site seismic instrumentation is not installed yet.”

Only seven countries are in possession of “mobile equipment, especially diesel generators needed in case of total loss of power, external events or severe accident situations.”

Activists have also lamented that the tests were almost entirely theoretical, whose findings and recommendations are not legally binding.

The report itself states, “Peer review teams mainly composed of experts from the Member States visited 24 sites out of the total of 68, taking into account the type of reactor as well as the geographical location. Team visits to selected sites in each country were organised in order to firm up the implementation of the stress tests, without encroaching on the responsibilities of national authorities in the area of nuclear safety inspections.”

Report prompts action

The catastrophe of Fukushima, deemed the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, demonstrated that nuclear power plants must be protected even against accidents that have been deemed ‘highly improbable’.

In the EU’s own words, “Events at Fukushima revealed well-known and recurring issues: faulty design, insufficient backup systems, human error, inadequate contingency plans, and poor communications.”

The EU stress tests only confirmed what environmental groups and anti-nuclear power activists have feared for years. Now, these groups are using the results of the tests to call for a gradual phasing out of nuclear power across the continent.

Tobias Muenchmeyer, nuclear power expert for the German office of Greenpeace, told IPS, “The stress tests confirm that the warning systems are insufficient, and that the application of guidelines in cases of major accidents is also deficient. In such cases, nuclear power plants must be shut down.”

“The stress tests on nuclear power plants across Europe constitute a fire signal for a pan-European phasing out of nuclear power,” Muenchmeyer added.

At the very least, according to other activists and politicians, the results of the tests should lead to the immediate shutting down of all nuclear power plants situated in border regions, where nuclear accidents will not only impact the local environment and population but foreign regions and citizens as well.

Such measures would affect nuclear power plants in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, and Romania.

Johannes Remmel, minister for the environment in the German federal state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, said in a press conference that all deficient nuclear power plants operating in border regions in Europe should be shut down, or, at least, not be allowed to function past their ‘operational life’.

“An accident with leakage of radioactivity would affect populations in several countries,“ Remmel said. He specifically referred to the Belgian nuclear power plants of Tihange and Doel, considered particularly fragile, which are situated between 60 and 120 kilometres away from German territory.

Similar calls were made in Austria referring to the nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The stress tests also shed light on just how expensive nuclear power plants can be.

The EU assures that “All participating countries have begun to take operational steps to improve the safety of their plants”, adding that “the costs of additional safety improvements are estimated to be in the range of 30 million to 200 million (euros) per reactor unit. Thus, the total costs for the 132 reactors operating in the EU could be in the order of 10 (to) 25 billion (euros)…over the coming years.”

These figures are based on estimates published by the French nuclear safety authority, which covers more than one-third of the reactors in the EU, and are subject to confirmation in national actions plans.

Experts like Jo Leinen, former minister of the environment in the German federal state of Saarland, and present member of the European parliament, believe this money can be put to better use.

“Either the EU and its member states invest in upgrading the nuclear power plants to make them safer, or they shut them down,” he told IPS. “If the upgrading actually costs 25 billion (euros), such a sum (could) be better invested in renewable energy sources.”

The accident at Fukushima showed that nuclear power plants must be prepared to withstand even the most improbable accidents.

Fukushima also reinforced popular opposition to nuclear power around the world. Meanwhile, numerous nuclear power plants currently under construction, such as the Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and the Flamanville power plant in France, are incurring skyrocketing costs.

Now, the EU stress tests have added yet another nail in the coffin of nuclear power.

The growing global share of renewable energy sources shows that a world free of nuclear power is possible and feasible. The share of nuclear power in global power generation has steadily declined from a historic peak of 17 percent in 1993 to about 11 percent in 2011.



Monday, 15 October 2012

Don't Impose the new nuclear power stations in Tamil Nadu, India

by Praful Bidwai
Even the most zealous supporters of nuclear power generation should logically concede three things to their opponents. First, after the grave disaster at Fukushima, it is natural for people everywhere to be deeply sceptical of the safety claims made for nuclear power, and for governments to phase out atomic reactors. That’s exactly what’s happening in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and now Japan.

Second, nuclear power, like all technologies and all development projects, should be promoted democratically, with the consent of the people living in their vicinity, and with scrupulous regard for the rule of law and civil liberties. And third, safety must be given paramount importance in reactor construction and operation, with strict adherence to norms and procedures and full compliance with rules laid down by an  independent safety authority.

The way the government has dealt with the opponents of the Koodankulam nuclear reactors being built in Tamil Nadu violates all three red lines egregiously. Rather than treat opposition to nuclear power for its hazards as natural, logical and an indication of citizens’ engagement with the world, the Department of Atomic Energy and its subsidiary Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd see dementia in it—a pathological condition to be cured by psychiatrists to be especially invited from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore.

The government has all along demonised the Koodankulam project’s opponents. Prime Minister and the Home Minister, no less, vilified them as inspired by “foreign-funded” NGOs without an iota of evidence or taking action against them for such offences as they might have committed in diverting overseas funds meant for other uses.

The government recently deported a German tourist living in a Rs 200-a-day room for “masterminding” and financing the agitation. Last week, it summarily deported three Japanese activists who were planning  to visit Koodankulam.

All this shows serious official disconnect with nuclear realities. Globally, nuclear power has long been in decline. The number of reactors peaked 10 years ago, and their installed capacity plateaued in 2010 at 375 GW (gigawatt=1,000 megawatts). It’s down to 364 GW. Nuclear’s share of global power generation has declined from its peak of 17 percent to about 11 percent.

Even if many new reactors are built post-Fukushima, the global nuclear industry will shrink to less than half its size by 2025. With increasingly adverse public opinion, and rising reactor costs—up threefold over a decade—the decline could become terminal. Jeff Immelt of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment, says nuclear power is “really hard to justify”.

However, blind to this, India continues its Nuclear March of Folly, now with imported reactors of unproven design. The government has unleashed savage repression against grassroots anti-nuclear protesters. In Koodankulam, the use of force has been relentless since 1988, when live bullets were first used against peaceful agitators.

Over the past year, hundreds of FIRs have been lodged against several thousand people (according to one estimate, an incredible 55,000 people), with many charged with sedition and waging war against the  state—read, organising peaceful protests without one violent incident.

It’s hard to think of an episode in India, including the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, or the 1992 Babri demolition, where the state has charged so many people with such grave offences. This shows the lengths to which the government is willing to go to ram the project down people’s throats.

On September 10, the police launched a vicious lathi and tear-gas attack on peaceful protesters near the plant’s boundary wall although they were obstructing nobody’s movements. The police literally drove many agitators into the sea, molested women, arrested scores of people and looted their homes. A fisherman was killed in police firing. Several people are reported missing.

A fact-finding team led by Justice BG Kolse-Patil and senior journalist Kalpana Sharma has since visited Koodankulam, Idinthakarai and nearby villages. It describes the situation there as a “reign of terror”, marked by “extreme and totally unjustified” use of force, physical abuse, vindictive detention of 56 people including juveniles, and harassment of women. Such thug-like police behaviour, it says, “has no place in a country that calls itself democratic”.

Yet, repression of grassroots movements against destructive “development” projects is becoming part of a deplorable pattern in India. No socially desirable project can ever be built on the ashes of our citizens. This in and of itself is a strong reason to oppose the Koodankulam reactors, and prevent another horrifying precedent of state brutality.

The government’s conduct is especially reprehensible because the Prime Minister last year suspended work at Koodankulam on the promise of fully allaying people’s apprehensions regarding safety. But he had no real intention of doing so.

The sarkari experts he appointed didn’t even bother to meet the people’s representatives or answer their queries about the site’s vulnerability to tsunamis, volcanic activity and earthquakes. They certified everything as “100 percent” safe, which is scientifically untenable.

People’s fears grew as NPCIL refused to share relevant information with them, including the Site Evaluation and the Safety Analysis Reports. Despite a Right to Information request, a legal petition and a Parliament question, NPCIL refuses to disclose the text of an Indo-Russian intergovernmental agreement, which reportedly absolves the reactors’ supplier of any liability for an accident.

This puts a disturbing question-mark over the official claim that the reactors are safe, and accidents are all but impossible. If so, why is the supplier evading liability?

That brings us to the third factor mentioned above: NPCIL’s non-compliance with safety protocols, and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s approval for fuel-loading in breach of its own norms and rules. This is a grim story. Last year, following Fukushima, the AERB set up under state orders a Task Force to suggest improvements in reactor safety. This made 17 recommendations pertaining to freshwater and power backup, improved sensors and instrumentation, etc.

The Koodankulam plant isn’t compliant with as many as 11 of the 17 conditions. The AERB first told the Madras High Court that it wouldn’t permit fuel-loading unless full compliance was established. But within  four days, it made an about-turn—probably under pressure from the government.

As the Comptroller and Accountant General has established in a recent report, the AERB lacks independence and is totally subservient to the government. On August 10, it permitted NPCIL to start nuclear fuel  loading in the first reactor. This is wrong and dangerous, and shows reckless disregard for safety procedures.

The AERB is guilty of yet more safety violations. Its own rules for siting reactors say that there must be absolutely no population in the “exclusion zone” covering a 1.6-km radius from the plant, and that the population in the next radial zones must be thin—under 20,000 in the 5-km area, etc. Now, as anyone who has been to Koodankulam will testify, a tsunami rehabilitation colony, with 450 tenements, stands less than 1 km from the plant. At least 40,000 people live within a 5-km radius.

The AERB, supposedly the public’s nuclear watchdog, has turned a blind eye to this glaring fact for years. It must be brought to book for this grossly negligent conduct.

Equally disgraceful is the AERB’s failure to enforce another of its own rules which stipulates that no fuel-loading be permitted until an off-site emergency preparedness drill is completed within a 16-km radius under the joint supervision of NPCIL, the district administration, the state government and the National Disaster Management Authority. This involves full evacuation procedures, with prior warning, identification  of routes, commandeering of vehicles, and clear instructions to the public.

No such drill was ever conducted. And yet, the AERB granted clearance to initial fuel-loading. It’s hard not to call this roguish behaviour which plays with the public’s life.

This cannot be remotely justified on the ground that Tamil Nadu faces an acute power shortage. The Koodankulam reactor will add just 5 percent to the state’s power capacity. By contrast, its transmission and distribution loss is 18 percent, and can be reduced greatly. Besides, Tamil Nadu has 7,000 MW of wind turbine capacity, India’s highest share. Less than half this potential is tapped thanks to a mis-designed grid. Grid correction can be made at a minor expense.

Under the pressure of domestic and international atomic lobbies, India is loath to abandon nuclear power although the world is rapidly doing so. The process is fastest in the OECD countries, which account for 70 percent of the world’s 429 reactors. There are just two reactors under construction in the West. Both are mired in safety problems, long delays and 130 percent-plus cost overruns.

Even France, which gets 80 percent of its electricity from atomic reactors—a fact the global nuclear industry repeats as if that were clinching proof of its own safety and reliability—will reduce its nuclear dependence to 50 percent by 2025.

As nuclear power declines, clean, safe, flexible renewable sources like wind and solar are fast expanding. Global investment in these has grossed $1 trillion since 2004. Their costs are falling dramatically. Renewables are the world’s energy future.—end--

____________

SOUTH ASIANS AGAINST NUKES (SAAN):
An informal information platform for activists and scholars concerned
about the dangers of Nuclearisation in South Asia
http://s-asians-against-nukes.org/

Monday, 1 October 2012

Anti nuclear protest in India


When women choose to protest, they face forms of harassment to break their spirit.
Road Roko:They know what’s in store.Photo: A.ShaikMohideen

Road Roko:They know what’s in store.Photo: A.ShaikMohideen
When you enter Idinthakarai village, the epicentre of the storm swirling around the controversial Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, everything appears calm but also quiet in an unreal way. Where are all the people? It is only when you go a little further that you see the shamiana erected in front of the Lourde Matha church and the hundreds of women and children sitting under it. For more than a year now, these women have made the shamiana their home. They sleep, eat, fast, sing songs, raise slogans and each day renew their commitment to the protest against the KNPP.
Until September 10, they did not think twice about the discomfort and hardship. Many of them are from villages some distance away. How do they bathe? Where is the toilet? Some of them say they eat and drink very little through the day so that they can avoid going to the toilet. But they have to feed their children.
To do this, some of them get up before dawn, prepare the food in their homes, and then come back by sunrise to sit in the tent the rest of the day and the night.
On September 20 and 21, when I met some of these women, their spirits were high but their bodies were wounded. Women were in the front row of the protest on September 9 and 10, on the beach of Idinthakarai, to “lay siege to the plant”. Needless to say, the siege was metaphorical, for no one can go anywhere near this highly guarded plant.
Did these women not expect the police to react and break up the protest, I asked Ritamma, a 43-year-old single woman. They genuinely did not, she says. On the 9{+t}{+h}, many of the protestors had felt sorry for the women police who were practically fainting in the heat. They had even offered water.
But on September 10, the story was different. Despite the presence of so many women and children, there was a lathi charge and tear gas shells were thrown into the crowd. Men and women ran into the sea to escape the police. But there was no escape.
As a result, scores of women and men, including old men, have been wounded by the lathi or have burns caused by the explosion of the tear gas shells. With these wounds has come the realisation that in a democracy, even a peaceful protest is not tolerated. The women are puzzled about this. What did we do wrong, they ask? Can we not ask questions? Why does no one listen to our questions and talk to us directly?
No simpletons these
Indeed, why does no one listen? You hear words like “misled”, or “instigated” by representatives of the police, the government and the nuclear power establishment. What they are suggesting is that these women lack intelligence, that they are simpletons who can be “misled”. It is assumed that if people are either poor, or unlettered, they have no ability to understand “complex” issues. But for the women in Idinthakarai there is nothing complex about the problem they are facing. Their future has been tied to a technology that has been proven to have devastating consequences in the event of an accident. And an accident can occur from a natural disaster – like a tsunami about which they are well aware, as they were affected in 2004 – or human error. No one can guarantee that there will never be a human error.
That is one side of the story. The other is the specific impact on women when they join a struggle and risk the wrath of the state law and order machinery. Men are beaten, or locked up. But for women there are specific forms of harassment to break their spirit.
Woman after woman spoke about the sexist and abusive language used by the policemen, virtually suggesting that as they were willing to have sex with the leaders of the movement, they should offer the same to them. Some mentioned actual physical molestation. Lavinia, a 29-year-old woman disabled by childhood polio, narrated that she tried to run to save her five-year-old daughter when the lathi charge began, when a policeman grabbed her arm and began dragging her away. When she resisted, he physically molested her. She fell at his feet and begged and was saved when another policeman intervened. “I feel so sad and angry when I think of it”, she says.
That is what all of us should feel – sad but also angry. Why, if women choose to resist, to protest, should they be sexually targeted? And that too by the very people who are supposed to be our “protectors”?
Despite the events of September 10, and the personal humiliation and taunts that these women heard, they remain resolute. You can “mislead” someone for a day. But will anyone volunteer to go through all this for over a year without understanding what she is resisting?
Email:sharma.kalpana@yahoo.com
For 

LONG STANDING ANTI NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNER DIES
29 September 2012

It is with huge sadness that Stop Hinkley announces the untimely death of Crispin Aubrey.

The Stop Hinkley campaign is coming to terms with the news that spokesperson Crispin Aubrey suffered a fatal heart attack on Friday afternoon in the midst of the preparations for the planned protest against Hinkley C next weekend.

Crispin played a key role in the preparations and was due to speak at the rally next Saturday. Crispin's wife Sue, also part of the Stop Hinkley campaign, has bravely requested that the ‘show must go on because it's what Crispin would have wanted'.
The Aubreys were involved in the original protest against Hinkley C over twenty years ago. Crispin took a lead role in the public enquiry and coordinated the campaign which was heralded a success as the reactor was never built.

Crispin was a life-long campaigner and had been a journalist all his working life, starting at the Hampshire Chronicle and London's Time Out magazine. He wrote widely on environmental issues and was committed to the promotion of renewable energy.

Crispin was well respected contributor to the Stop Hinkley campaign and to the fight against new nuclear in the UK.