Bloomberg News

EDF’s U.K. Hinkley Nuclear Power Site Faces Protests Next Month

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station in southwest England will next month be targeted by protestors against new reactors in the U.K.

The Stop New Nuclear Alliance, a grouping of campaigners who oppose nuclear power stations, plans to blockade the station for 24 hours from about 5 p.m. on March 11, Zoe Smith, a campaigner helping arrange the protest, said by telephone from Bristol today. Protesters will gather at the site from midday, she said.

“We aren’t intending to stop production but we are going to blockade the entrance,” preventing vehicles from entering the site. “We’re planning to surround the power station,” she said. The group is against EDF’s plans to build a new nuclear power station at the site, next to the current one, which has capacity of 860 megawatts.

Last March, disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station triggered the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 and prompted international concern about the safety of reactors. The U.K. government has reviewed the safety case for the technology and is altering rules to help guarantee power prices for new investors. EDF, EON AG, RWE AG and GDF Suez SA are also considering investing in new atomic plants in Britain.

The protest has been arranged to coincide with the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, Smith said. The group arranged a similar campaign in October, which attracted more than 400 people, she said. “We’re hoping for that again, if not more,” she said.

“We respect the rights of individuals to peaceful protest,” Claire Cook, an EDF spokeswoman in East Kilbride, Scotland, said in an e-mail.

--Editors: Rob Verdonck, Alessandro Vitelli

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Airlie in London at cairlie@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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