On 3 October, over 100 people opposed to new nuclear build will blockade Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset. This is where French energy giant Electricité de France (EDF) wants to build the first new nuclear reactor in the UK for 16 years. Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March, Germany, Italy and other countries are turning their backs on nuclear power, or are having a rethink. Not so for the UK, for whom it’s business as usual.
In July, the formerly anti-nuclear energy secretary Chris Huhne rubber-stamped the nuclear and other energy national policy statements (NPSs) following a parliamentary vote.
Soon afterwards, West Somerset Council gave EDF the green light for “preliminary works” at Hinkley, involving the comprehensive trashing of 400 acres of green field land in an ecologically-sensitive area. This is before the firm has even submitted an application for the proposed new reactor to the national infrastructure planning commission. Greenpeace has launched a judicial review of the nuclear NPS, whilst local group Stop Hinkley is considering its own legal challenge.
The 3 October blockade will take place as part of a weekend action camp, to include a march and rally in Bridgwater town centre. The action is supported by, amongst others, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Trident Ploughshares and the Stop Nuclear Power Network.