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Anti-nuclear protesters warn Hinkley Point fight is not over

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 03, 2012

The peace march finished at the gates of Hinkley Point in Somerset yesterday. The protesters were joined by similar marches around the world

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It was not the biggest anti-nuclear demonstration ever staged, but when a few dozen flag-waving folk marched the final six miles to the gates of Hinkley Point nuclear power station on Saturday many of them did so armed with a passion gleaned from experience.

A handful of the protesters had walked the 130 miles from the Government’s nuclear establishment at Aldermaston after recently completing a similar march through the devastated Fukushima area of Japan – and they said they were in Somerset to bear witness to the potential dangers of radioactivity.

“Visiting the Fukushima area brings home how serious it can be – how an accident can happen even in a country with as good a safety record as Japan,” said one marcher.

Saturday’s marchers were led by a Japanese Buddhist priest, the Reverend Nagase, who said prayers at Hinkley Point’s gates and said: “Although the Japanese government says the Fukushima nuclear plant accident could not have been helped because of the tsunami, humanity cannot possibly accept this explanation.

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“Nuclear bombs and nuclear power must be eliminated from the Earth.”

Angie Zelter, one of the demonstrators who had spent 10 days walking from Aldermaston, said the aim had been to raise awareness: “Most people don’t realise we still have nuclear weapons – and they don’t know that there are many thousands of people marching in Japan. Fukushima is still not under control.”

Local protester Nicky Clark said: “It’s really important to have a chance to talk to people in our communities. I think the media are doing us a disservice – people aren’t aware of what’s going on. Whatever decisions are made, that’s fine – as long as there are informed decisions and there is a public conversation.”

One local protester well versed in the nuclear debate was John Wealthy, who said: “I live 800 yards away, just across the common.

“I am, in a direct line, the nearest resident to Hinkley Point. And I’m here to demonstrate about the dangers of nuclear power.”

In welcoming the marchers to Somerset, Crispin Aubrey, of the Stop Hinkley group, declared: “You may see the big fences around the proposed site (where EDF plans to go ahead with Hinkley Point C), but that doesn’t mean they have started to build it yet. EDF do not have approval yet, so the possibility of stopping this is still strong.

“We were here over 20 years ago when there were plans to build a new nuclear power station, and they did get permission, but it never happened,” said Mr Aubrey to the biggest cheer of the day.

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  • siarad2  |  September 04 2012, 10:05AM

    Grrrr when is this 'internal server error' to be fixed. Why do I sign ON & OFF & ON again in order to post, lost in the process too grrrrr This is uranium nuclear for bomb making & not New Nuclear. Baroness Worthington Foundation Patron of the Weinberg Foundation for safer, cleaner, affordable thorium nuclear. Named after Alvin Weinberg who designed & operated a thorium generator in the 1960s but who was sacked for not towing the USA gov. line for bomb making. Thorium reactors can be shut down unlike Fukushima & can not melt down apart from not being highly radio active. Use the contact form: http://tinyurl.com/brmfuwg

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  • nikkinomad  |  September 04 2012, 2:05AM

    Many people are unaware of the on-going crisis in Fukushima. tens of thousands of children remain unevacuated in Fukushima prefecture with acute health problems already evident just over a year after the accident. There is 400 tonnes an hour of radioactive effluent being discharged directly into the open ocean. This is the biggest longest running most sever industriao accident of all time. There is still huge potential for even more dire consequences if the buidings and their spent fuel pools collapse - a distinct possibility if there are further quakes above M6 which is inevtiable. TEPCO claim it'll take at least a year and ahalf to get the fuel out of the ponds. The technolgy to undertake such a task in the present conditions doesn't exist. Nuclear is dirty dangerous expensive and an intrisic part of modern warfare. It is time we all saw sense and engaged with what exactly it is we are going to bequeath to future generations in the name of the myth of progress. What progress is it to leave our grandchildren not so far into the future a legacy of unmangeable intractable waste that has the potential to wipe out all life on earth? This selfish behaviour is not a given, an inevitable part of human nature, but is the direct result of the current popular discourses and social 'norms' in society. On top of all of this it is economic suicide plain and simple! the build costs for the planned reactors in somerset have already quadrupled, current builds in all wealthy western, relatively well regulated countries are in trouble with builds running over time and way over budget. China, one of the countries newest to the construction and operation of nuclear reactors - (and that likely has a lot to do with lax environmental regulation and enforcement, and creative accounting), is the only place where that is not the case is . Here we can pretty much guarnatee that the lack of public accountability means that there are plenty of corners cut and forms fixed. Oh did I mention EDF and the government are looking to chinese investors to bailout their planned Frakenstein style resurrectuion? Somerset authorites and it's people have been duped all along by government and industry officals in collusion about the need for nuclear and the benefits. The financial agreements reached over the deal are paultry given the cost, scale and impact of the project itself and no amount of financial bribery can ever compensate for the loss of livelihoods and health as well as quality of life that will be experienced by these marginalised communities for the foreseeable and distant unimaginable future.... Say no to New Nuclear, join the protests against new nuclear in the UK at Hinkley from 5th-9th OCTOBER