Somerset, urging them to oppose a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
The letter raises concerns over nuclear waste storage, nuclear accidents, and
the impact of construction traffic on the county. It says that since the
Council agreed to write to other councils, the record flooding and storm surges
in West Somerset have only deepened those concerns. And it ends, "We believe
that statements of concern and opposition by local representative bodies such as yours could play a part in determining Somerset's future for the good".
A recent meeting with EDF has done nothing to allay the town's fears, according
to Councillor Jon Cousins (St Edmunds Ward).
"Basically, EDF pulled out of a public meeting and sent David Eccles to our
Council meeting instead to tell us that Hinkley C would be good for jobs," said
Mr Cousins. "He could tell us nothing about the nuclear emergency plan for
Glastonbury - except that we shouldn't eat or drink anything - and assured us
without a blink that EDF were prepared to store spent fuel at Hinkley Point for
thousands of years."
"I was shocked to discover that the spent fuel building will not be as heavily
protected as the reactor building, making it an obvious target for a malicious
attack - and it will still be vulnerable to attack or natural disaster long
after EDF have packed up their profits and gone".
The letter from Glastonbury Town to other councils says that Hinkley C would be "the most expensive nuclear power station on the planet" but that the final
investment decision has still to be made, as the government's deal with EDF is
now under review by the EU Competition Commission.
"It's not too late for Somerset people and Councils to raise a voice and stop
this project before the construction traffic has started rolling," said
Councillor Denise Michell (St Benedict's Ward). "Glastonbury is a town which is
ill-prepared for the impact of that traffic, but despite a very reasonable
appeal from Councillor Ian Tucker, Mr Eccles said that ultimately it would be up
to contractors which roads they used, and EDF could not be expected to give us
"It seems that all the big issues with this project are someone else's
responsibility, and EDF's only responsibility is making the money. With the
public subsidy agreed by the government, Hinkley C profits are apparently set to
be well over £50 billion. That puts the so called "benefits to the community"
into perspective. Somerset could end up shouldering the liabilities of this
project for generations, and Glastonbury Town Council are not at all happy about that," she said.
FULL TEXT OF THE TOWN COUNCIL'S LETTER:
Glastonbury Town Council oppose the proposed Hinkley C development in West
Somerset for the following reasons:
1. Concerns over the huge impact that the 9 year development might have upon our locality and the county as a whole, particularly construction traffic;
2. The potentially catastrophic impact that a nuclear accident at the facility
would have on our community and our region;
3. The negligent immorality of leaving highly radioactive waste and spent fuel
at the site for future generations to deal with - for at least 100 years and
most probably for many thousands.
The government has announced it's "Strike Price" deal with EDF and
it has become apparent that the Hinkley C project will be the most expensive
nuclear power station on the planet, with EDF profits being guaranteed by a 35
year price-fix for all UK consumers. In recent months there has also been
mounting pressure to store additional radioactive waste from other UK sites at
the Hinkley Point complex, raising the prospect of West Somerset becoming a
"second Sellafield" in the future.
In the light of this Glastonbury Town Council further resolved to contact our
sister councils in Somerset inviting you to join us in opposing the proposed Hinkley C project.
Since we made that decision, the unprecedented flooding in Somerset, record
storm surges, and even the recent earth tremor have raised further concerns
about the viability and long-term safety of Hinkley C. As EDF's "Final
Investment Decision" is yet to be made, and the financial deal is being
scrutinised by the EU Competition Commission and Parliament's Public Accounts Committee will investigate it shortly, we believe that statements of concern and opposition by local representative bodies such as yours could play a part in determining Somerset's future for the good.