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Six arrests in protest over Hinkley Point nuclear site

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

  • Police arrest a protester on crutches outside the proposed site of a new nuclear reactor in Somerset yesterday

  • A protester is squeezed through the fence

  • A Stop New Nuclear Alliance supporter prays for Fukushima victims beside the fence at the site of the Hinkley C power station

  • A camp close to the site

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Six people were arrested during a mass trespass at the site of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station as campaigners dodged security staff and police to scale barbed wire-topped fencing.

More than 50 people from an alliance of anti-nuclear organisations were determined to breach the barrier to plant symbolic wildflower seeds on land they believe is being desecrated. A dozen succeeded.

Hinkley Point is the proposed site of the first of the new generation of nuclear power plants the Government and developer EDF Energy say are necessary to provide a mix of low-carbon energy for Britain’s future needs.

But campaigners, who started their protest before dawn, say nuclear is too dangerous and want the land, which is still fields, returned to “the people”.

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Dozens fanned out around the five-mile-long fence while others held banners and placards outside the main security gate. A 14ft banner reading, “Nuclear disaster zone. Boycott EDF” was hung across the gate. One woman campaigner held a candlelit vigil.

By 11am, the protesters had thrown 577 seed balls over the fence, representing the number of days since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Campaigners said the mood was “relaxed and celebratory”. Camilla Berens, spokesperson for the Stop New Nuclear Alliance, said: “This is a major victory for the anti-nuclear movement because the Government has refused to listen to us and we have been forced to raise the game.

“We have successfully blockaded the main entrance to Hinkley Point on two occasions in the past year and now we have accomplished a mass trespass. Our message today is that we will continue to raise the game with peaceful protest until our voice is heard.”

Speaking from inside the site, Ray Davis, CND Cymru vice chair, said: “Hinkley Point is 12 miles from Barry and only 19 miles from Cardiff. Any leak or accident at Hinkley would be disastrous for South Wales and beyond. We are determined to stop this happening, but this is peaceful.”

It is understood that some of the arrests were on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

Nigel Cann, C Site construction director for EDF, said: “We are disappointed that a small minority of those who have travelled here today have chosen to ignore the arrangements made to facilitate a peaceful and lawful protest.”

He added that protesters had not been able to access any sensitive areas, which are protected by a “multi-layered security regime”, and added it had been “business as usual” on the C site and they had been able to bring in workers and equipment needed at the B station.

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  • cathiepixie  |  October 10 2012, 1:36PM

    http://tinyurl.com/9mth9gf says it all.....

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  • Beakyrobin  |  October 10 2012, 12:48PM

    Nuclear will be far more expensive than renewables, which is why major investors have refused to support it. The Chinese are the latest to pull out of supporting Britain's planned nuclear programme, for example. This means that nuclear will invariably have to be funded directly from government, which means higher taxes for the rest of us. But not only that, it takes between ten to fifteen years for new nuclear plants to be constructed anyway and that is ridiculous when a network of small scale and large scale renewable technologies could be put in place much faster and for less cost. Earlier in the summer Germany managed to run 50% of its electricity demand over 2-3 days from solar PV alone, and that is why they, along with Japan, have decided to ditch nuclear. Quite simply, nuclear is not going to be sufficient to power our economy, it is vastly more expensive, takes longer to build and is also extremely dangerous both in terms of waste and the potential for a very nasty accident. Nuclear power stations also have to be sited near the coastline, which is pretty foolhardy at a time of rising sea levels, not to mention the high risk of attack from terrorists.

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