2 anti-nuke protests against new build plans

Anti-nuclear activists disrupt Parliamentary Select Committee

This morning in Westminster, during the Department of Energy and Climate Change Parliamentary Select Committee on the proposed nuclear and other energy National Policy Statements, two anti-nuclear activists stood and unfurled a banner in the centre of the committee room reading "Local Democracy Dumped." The banner also featured radiation symbols and drums of radioactive waste. A third activist handed out briefings on why they believe nuclear power is unacceptable and an inappropriate technology for tacking climate change. The three activists were taken away and detained inside the House of Commons, along with a forth man who was taking photographs. The four were held for over two hours for alleged breaches of the House regulations, before being released and banned from the Parliamentary estate for the rest of the day.

Representatives of energy giants EDF, E.ON and RWE npower and of the Association of Electricity Producers were giving evidence before the committee of MPs. The protesters were highlighting the lack of local democracy associated with the new fast-track planning process, which will be used to silence dissenting local voices on major infrastructure projects such as new nuclear power stations and nuclear waste dumps.

Yesterday the four protested with others outside the Nuclear New Build Conference at Charing Cross Hotel (see below)

Nuclear People Power / No New Nuclear


London Conference Protest Exposes Nuclear Greenwash

A group of nine anti-nuclear campaigners staged a two-hour protest outside the Nuclear New Build Conference in central London this morning in protest at industry attempts to paint nuclear power as a “green” technology and win public support for new nuclear reactors.

Standing outside the Guoman Hotel adjacent to Charing Cross railway station in the morning rush hour dressed in white overalls and masks, the protesters displayed a large banner reading “Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Climate Chaos”, handed out leaflets and detailed briefings explaining why they believe nuclear power to be a false solution to climate change and detailing other problems with this form of energy. During the demonstration, the conference's keynote speaker, former energy minister Malcolm Wicks MP, exchanged views on nuclear power and energy policy with one of the campaigners.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently undertaking a public consultation on its draft nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS). Once this is approved, decisions on new nuclear reactors will be left to an unelected quango called the Infrastructure Planning Commission, with no further opportunity for local objections to be heard.
The Government is keen to push through a new generation of costly and highly controversial nuclear reactors, despite widespread opposition and the lack of any long-term solution for over 50 years' worth of high level radioactive waste from existing reactors. Campaigners are concerned that the high cost of building new reactors would divert essential investment from renewable and decentralised energy and energy efficiency measures. They say that new reactors take too long to build and would not in any case make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK’s carbon emission reduction targets. They also remain concerned about the health effects of radioactive emissions, such as the cancer and leukaemia clusters found near nuclear power stations, as indicated by the 2007 German-government sponsored KiKK study, and the risk of a terrorist attack or catastrophic Chernobyl-type reactor meltdown. A former director of the Forsmark nuclear plant in Sweden said of an incident at the site in 2006: "It was pure luck that there was not a meltdown."

Daniel Viesnik, 35, a London-based activist, said “The nuclear industry’s long history of secrecy, cover-ups and shoddy and dangerous practices stretches back over fifty years. It wants us to believe that a leopard can change its spots, but the only thing that really seems to change is the industry's PR tactics.”

Ian Mills, 44, a long-term anti-nuclear activist from Chippenham, Wiltshire said, “Nuclear power is a dirty, dangerous and expensive distraction from the major investment needed for a radical transition to a safe and sustainable low-carbon future and green industry, based on more modest consumption, energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable and decentralised energy.”

Mell Harrison, 38, Eastern Region CND's campaigns officer, who lives near Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk, said: "It is frustrating that we are not included in the talks happening at the conference, especially as the energy needs of the UK concerns us all. A seat at the conference costs over £1300 and the future costs if new nuclear goes ahead are far greater. Surely now it is time for the nuclear industry to be open and accountable? But yet again as we have seen time and time again, all the 'real' talk goes on behind closed doors.' Mell added ' This protest is just the start- we need real solutions to climate change - not nuclear green wash.'

Contact: vd2012-npp [at] yahoo.co.uk or mellcndeast [at] cnduk.org
Tel: 07760 161 755 or 07506 234 091
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