In the first of a series of demonstrations over the next three days, protesters converged opposite EDF Energy’s regional headquarters with an array of costumes and banners before marching through the town centre.
Two protesters were dressed as the grim reaper and carried a large banner saying: ‘Nuclear energy: the death of a safe, affordable future. Boycott EDF.’ A choir from Wales also sang songs opposing a new reactor proposed for Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey.
A rally then took place in Cornhill where speakers from anti nuclear groups including, Stop Hinkley, CND and Greenpeace France outlined the dangers of nuclear power.
The crowd heard that radioactive waste from the new EPR reactors earmarked for Hinkley will be so toxic that it will have to be stored at the site for more than 100 years. ‘This region deserves decent jobs that are safe and sustainable,’ said Crispin Aubrey from campaign group, Stop Hinkley. ‘Nuclear power cannot meet this requirement.’
He continued: ‘EDF Energy is offering jobs that come from the bottom of the barrel. The construction work will only be temporary and will cause great inconvenience to the local community – particularly in terms of traffic congestion. Most of the longer-term jobs at the reactor will be specialized and will require people to come in from further afield. So it’s a bad deal for Somerset and Bristol.’
Yannick Rousselet from Greenpeace France travelled to the UK especially for the event. He highlighted the budget over-runs and time-delays at EDF Energy’s prototype reactor in Flamanville, France.
He also condemned the energy giant for its poor employment and security record. ‘EDF claims that new nuclear is cleaner and safer but the truth is that there is too much focus on profit and not enough on safety.’ He noted that in Flamanville, unemployment is now higher than it was before construction began. ‘On top of all this, whatever safety mechanisms are put in place, you can never rule out human error.’
From 2-3pm tomorrow (Sun), the media is being invited to visit the Stop New Nuclear camp near Nether Stowey, Somerset.
A mass blockade will then take place at the main gate of Hinkley Point power station from 7am on Monday. More than 200 people are expected to take part.
For more information contact Camilla Berens on 07811 451417.