Green councillors will join a crisis meeting this Friday to discuss the ‘triple risks’ posed by Hinkley C nuclear power station. The meeting has been organised by Green South West MEP Molly Scott Cato, and will be attended by the Vice President of the French Assembly, Denis Baupin.
Anti-nuclear protestors and a white elephant will also join the group meeting outside the gates of Hinkley, to raise attention to the triple risks of security1, the risk of an energy gap2 and the risk associated with potential Chinese ownership3.
Hinkley point power station lies 50km from central Bristol. The French government has recently acknowledged the risks associated with the Pressurised Water nuclear reactor (EPR) model proposed for Hinkley C. The design has faced numerous problems, which have caused delays in both France and Finland1.
Mr Baupin said:
“EPR was meant to showcase the expertise of France’s nuclear energy industry to the world. But it has turned into the most expensive and risky model possible. The many problems that have occurred with this design so far show we don’t even know how to build it properly! The UK still has an opportunity to say no to this industrial and financial disaster.”
Green Councillor Martin Fodor, who was the Local Government Association’s energy advisor and will be attending the meeting on Friday said:
“Hinkley point C is quite simply a white elephant – a dangerous distraction to our urgent energy needs, which research has shown could be generated by renewable energy across the South West4. As the Telegraph noted earlier this year5, Hinkley C is over-budget, grossly subsidised and financially unsustainable. The EPR technology has encountered numerous problems in other countries1 and we don’t need this risky dinosaur on Bristol’s doorstep. Instead our residents desperately need practical solutions to keep warm, provide power, and create local green jobs, which investment in energy efficiency and renewables can deliver.”
The UK government is rumored to be ready to sign a deal with the Chinese to help fund Hinkley C, and Friday’s meeting comes ahead of a state visit by Chinese President, Xi Jinping to the UK later this month.
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for South West England said:
‘The government is leading us into a dangerous dark alley where we will face a serious energy gap and where a reliance on Chinese capital will threaten safety and environmental standards 3. Friday’s meeting and protest will send a loud and clear message to the government. Hinkley is too risky. We need to abandon the project now and invest instead in green energy which can deliver energy security more quickly, more cheaply and provide thousands more quality jobs 4.