Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

DECC Meeting in Thornbury on Thursday

Residents' disgust at nuclear 'monstrosity'
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By Lynne Hutchinson

AN angry audience was kept waiting for 75 minutes before Government officers arrived for a public meeting on a proposed new nuclear power station.

A delegation from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was held up at Didcot due to train delays and missed much of last night's allocated two-hour event at Thornbury Leisure Centre.

Nearly 100 people had turned up to hear a presentation from the DECC team and question them about the inclusion of land next to the existing Oldbury atomic station at Shepperdine for a new generation of reactors. A protest was held beforehand.

The meeting pressed on without Peter McDonald, the deputy head of the Office for Nuclear Development, and his colleagues, with a South Gloucestershire Council officer reading out the DECC presentation.

But some of the audience demanded another meeting be organised.

When the civil servants finally arrived, they were asked to defend the inclusion of what opponents have called a "monstrosity" next to the Severn estuary.

Residents said there were major concerns over building in a flood zone, the amount of extra traffic in the area, the height of cooling towers and a mass influx of workers.

Reg Illingworth, chairman of Shepperdine Against Nuclear Power (SANE), said: "There will also be the dumping of a massive nuclear waste legacy on future generations."

But Mr McDonald said: "We have found no reason to rule this site out at the moment."

The meeting was told that Oldbury was unique among the listed sites in not being near enough water for the cooling process, which meant cooling towers would have to be built. They could either be 200-metre (656ft) natural draught structures or 70-metre (270ft) fan-assisted towers that use electricity to drive the fans.

But a suggestion that landscaping could mitigate their effect was met with laughter from the audience.

Oldbury has remained on a list of potential sites for new reactors, despite other locations being removed.

Those fighting for the scheme to be rejected are hoping to persuade ministers that the location is unsuitable and have until January 24 to do so.

Bristol University professor and local resident Gareth Williams told the meeting the Oldbury and Thornbury area was seen as a soft target because of the existing Oldbury plant and because locals had "not made a fuss".

He said: "Until last year I assumed a new station would be like Oldbury power station but in fact it is very much bigger – so big that cooling cannot be done with water from the Severn, hence the need for cooling towers. But this is an internationally important site and a beautiful part of the countryside."

He said the towers would be seen for miles and the station would produce "an awful lot of radioactive waste".


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