Hinkley Point blockaders declare victory over EDF Energy

3/10/2011
For about nine hours, we blockaded the nuclear power station with up to 400 people. This was the biggest anti nuclear power action in Britain for quite some years. It marked the beginning of a new anti nuclear power movement in this country, and you all made this possible.
This time, the blockade was tolerated by EDF and the police. Only one person was arrested when walking on the public footpath along the fence.
He was stopped and searched by police, and arrested for possession of a craft knife. Luckily, he was later released from Taunton police station without charge.

Those of you who came to the camp after the action are aware of a police incident: a mobile CCTV vehicle of Avon & Somerset police drove onto the camp site, filming all the time. After a while it was possible to persuade them to leave the site.
Stop New Nuclear sees this as a provocation, and we made it very clear that this incident destroyed a lot of the trust between the police and the campaign that had been built in the run-up to the blockade.
The police Silver Command has since sent an 'apology email' that says they've deleted the material.

The camp, demonstration, and blockade of Hinkley Point was not a one-off, nor was it the end - it should be the beginning of a powerful and creative anti nuclear power movement in Britain, that will stop the plans for eight new nuclear power stations in its tracks. To make this happen, we need you!
We are therefore organising a Stop New Nuclear gathering in Bristol in November (unfortunately, we have not been able to set the date yet), to discuss and plan the next campaigns and actions against nuclear new build in Britain. Please get involved - we need to grow as a movement, and this means we need more people organising our actions. Please check back for updates and register for the Stop New Nuclear gathering at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/gathering2011. More information will be available soon.

If you have any ideas for action, please share them in our ideas forum at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/ideasforum.

News from Hinkley Point
The Environment Agency has extended the deadline for objections to EDF's environmental permit application until 15 December. This means we now have much more time to collect hundreds or even thousands of objections. Please download the objection sheet from http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/objections-discharges, print it, sign it, and send it of to: PSC, PO Box 4404, Sheffield, S9 4WF

Press release:

Anti-nuclear protesters have declared the mass blockade at Hinkley Point today as a victory over EDF Energy. The nine-hour blockade in Somerset attracted supporters from all over the UK. Several came from as far afield as Ireland, Germany and Belgium.

Stop New Nuclear spokesperson, Andreas Speck, said the blockade has put the government and EDF on the back foot. ‘Following the interest this blockade has attracted, both regionally and nationally, the government and EDF can no longer claim that the we need nuclear energy to keep the lights on.’

He continued: ‘Germany has committed to a nuclear-free future without buying nuclear power from France or building new coal-fired power stations. The German government is looking at a decentralised energy model with a mix of renewables and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to bridge the gap left by withdrawal from nuclear. If Germany can do it, why can’t we?’

Angie Zelter, who hit the headlines in 1996 when she and other activists attacked a Hawk jet destined to suppress protests in East Timor (and was subsequently cleared of criminal damage by a jury), blasted EDF’s claims that Hinkley Point is sustainable.

She added: ‘Over its lifetime, Hinkley will consume more energy than it produces - if you take into account the energy used to extract uranium and the power needed to store radioactive waste for hundreds of years. It doesn’t add up.’

Zelter said the risk of flooding is an increasing worry. ‘Locals are well aware of the constant danger of flooding around Hinkley,’ she continued. ‘We have information from workers there that several years ago, floodwater breached the plant’s retaining walls.’

She added that this was a particular concern now that EDF wants to build two new mega reactors at Hinkley. ‘Radioactive waste from the proposed new ERP reactors will be so toxic that it will have to be stored on the site for over 100 years. With the growth in extreme weather conditions there is no guarantee that this waste can be stored safely.’

And Zelter blasted the government for claiming that nuclear is the only solution to combating climate change. ‘If the government can spend billion renewing Trident missiles and fighting Gaddafi in Libya, why can’t they find the money to build truly sustainable energy systems that would create a great many more jobs than the nuclear sector can?’

The mass blockade was described by Stop New Nuclear organiser, Andreas Speck, as a, ‘celebration of dissent’ with pro-nuclear supporters being entertained by a Welsh choir and popular festival band, Seize The Day.

A man arrested on a footpath close to the blockade was later released without charge.

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Bridgwater demonstration
Blockade of Hinkley Point
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