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, 20 November 2011

Farmers bullied!

Check this article out

Farmers bullied!

Check this article out

Horizon up to their horrible tricks again! Farmers Bullied!

Horizon employing bully boy tactics by getting compulsory rights from Ofgem to investigate the land of a farmer in wylfa, north Wales even though he and his son do not want to sell their land.

Please pass this message on to all you know.

Apparently, this is the first stage before compulsory purchase.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

RWE to pull out of nuclear in the UK

Hi All,

This article confirms what SANE and Urgewald knew in April following the RWE Shareholders Conference in Essen in April.

German involvement in nuclear worldwide is dead!

Bring on Gazprom to invest in new nukes in the UK!

We feel insecure buying gas of Russia but I am sure the government will feel quite content about having a Russian compny building and operating new nukes in the UK......

Looks as though we will not be making out trip back to Essen in April unless it is to thank the Boards of RWE for wise decisions to terminate the construction of new nukes.

We thank the German public, investors in RWE and E.on and the government of Angela Merkel for offering the leadership that is not being offered in the UK.....SANE Thanks You!

Get ready for the Shepperdine Renewables Festival next year!!

Best Wishes


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Hinckley Point, Somerset

Hello all,

This update:

Preparing for the blockade
Camp 1st-3rd Oct
Bus from Bristol
Bristol City Council
& Letter to Chris Huhne

We have just two weeks before the big blockade of Hinkley point power station. It is also a few weeks before Edf are allowed to start to trash the site, they may sit on their hands for a while however with economic and political uncertainty about new nuclear as it is... lets keep up the pressure and stop them for good!

It is time to sit down with your friends and affinity groups and figure out what you are going to wear/play/do on the day, is it street theatre, singing, painting? We have been chatting about knitting a roadblock/woolen reactor sarcophagus/circle of futility/ squares for Fukushima, (you had to be there) if you want to join in bring some wool and needles with you! At least we'll be nice and warm : )

If you plan to be at the weekend camp; Saturday to Monday, please register here:
or you wont know where to go, and we wont know to expect you.

If you want to take the coach from Bristol on Monday morning, (8.30 am, outside @Bristol £10/£6 waged/unwaged) please let us know as soon as possible so we know how many seats we need. Tickets will be on sale at Booty, 82 Colston St, Bristol from the end of next week. The coach will arrive at the blockade around 10am as part of the second wave of blockaders.

We have received a sympathetic response from Bristol city council about the city's evacuation plan. It seems they don't approve of nuclear new build either, however they feel powerless to do anything about it. We think they should become a nuclear free local authority, (NFLA) which would give them the support of a national network and resources to fight on issues like the shipment of nuclear waste through the city.  Several councillors approached us and offered to help guide us through the system to get our questions heard and get effective responses.  If you are interested in joining a working group to pursue this please contact Ali:

Whats the evacuation plan? has been echoing around the world as different campaigns seek clarification on the responsibilities and preparedness of the nuclear industry for accidents such as Fukushima. See the attached letter to Chris Huhne, energy secretary. Please personalise and send it to him at:
It was originally written by Pete Rowberry of Suffolk.

See you soon
Letter to Chris Huhne:
To: Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP,

You will see from the attached link that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the United States are insisting that estimated for timescales for evacuation of areas around nuclear power stations need to be provided

I live within 6 miles of a nuclear power station, i.e. well within the evacuation zone imposed after Fukushima and significantly closer than the areas polluted by high levels of long lived radioactive caesium following both Chernobyl and Fukushima

If faith in the nuclear industry following Fukushima is to be restored the public need to be reassured that, in the case of a nuclear accident, resilient contingency plans are in place. There is no evidence that such plans for the Sizewell power station in Suffolk have every been tested and there is great doubt whether the proposed evacuation plan is realistic or achievable. There is also doubt about the provision of iodine for young children and uncertainty in the minds of the public about what the evacuation procedures are and where stocks of iodine tablets are held. I believe that the UK should follow the US in insisting that the industry examines these evacuation timescales and commits to achieving them and that these plans should be linked to the provision of iodine, which, after a radiation release can save many young peoples' lives. Does the Department for Energy and Climate Change, who are such strong advocates of nuclear technology, agree that this should be the case and if so how are they going to ensure that the relevant action is taken.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hinkley starts legal proceedings against government

To Reg Illingworth,
Stop Hinkley Legal Challenge Appeal
We need your support! With a number of important decisions being made in relation to the Hinkley C plans, Stop Hinkley is considering whether to challenge these in the courts. Greenpeace recently decided to mount a legal challenge to the government’s national policy on nuclear power, which is excellent news, but we also need to be aware of decisions being made locally on preparatory works for Hinkley C, particularly by West Somerset Council.
With this is mind, and to be well prepared, we have decided to invite members and supporters to contribute to a Legal Challenge Fund. Any donation, large or small, will be welcome, and put to good use in fighting Hinkley C.
Please send your donations, made payable to “Stop Hinkley”, to:
Stop Hinkley Legal Challenge Fund,
8 The Bartons, Yeabridge, South Petherton TA13 5LW.
Or you can send a donation direct to the Stop Hinkley bank account:
Account name: Stop Hinkley
Account number: 19041903
Sort code: 09-01-52
Please Quote: Legal Challenge
Or you can donate online via PayPal at or log in to PayPal and send payment to (please quote Legal Challenge)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
Japan has been slow to admit the scale of the meltdown. But now the truth is coming out. David McNeill reports from Soma City

Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters.

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Yoshio Ichida is recalling the worst day of his 53 years: 11 March, when the sea swallowed up his home and killed his friends. The Fukushima fisherman was in the bath when the huge quake hit and barely made it to the open sea in his boat in the 40 minutes before the 15-metre tsunami that followed. When he got back to port, his neighbourhood and nearly everything else was gone. "Nobody can remember anything like this," he says.

Now living in a refugee centre in the ruined coastal city of Soma, Mr Ichida has mourned the 100 local fishermen killed in the disaster and is trying to rebuild his life with his colleagues. Every morning, they arrive at the ruined fisheries co-operative building in Soma port and prepare for work. Then they stare out at the irradiated sea, and wait. "Some day we know we'll be allowed to fish again. We all want to believe that."

This nation has recovered from worse natural – and manmade – catastrophes. But it is the triple meltdown and its aftermath at the Fukushima nuclear power plant 40km down the coast from Soma that has elevated Japan into unknown, and unknowable, terrain. Across the northeast, millions of people are living with its consequences and searching for a consensus on a safe radiation level that does not exist. Experts give bewilderingly different assessments of its dangers.

Related articles
Japanese leadership ballot set to split ruling party
Search the news archive for more stories
Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of "horrors to come" in Fukushima.

Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse."

On the other side of the nuclear fence are the industry friendly scientists who insist that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. "I believe the government and Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco, the plant's operator] are doing their best," said Naoto Sekimura, vice-dean of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Mr Sekimura initially advised residents near the plant that a radioactive disaster was "unlikely" and that they should stay "calm", an assessment he has since had to reverse.

Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).

Caught in a blizzard of often conflicting information, many Japanese instinctively grope for the beacons they know. Mr Ichida and his colleagues say they no longer trust the nuclear industry or the officials who assured them the Fukushima plant was safe. But they have faith in government radiation testing and believe they will soon be allowed back to sea.

That's a mistake, say sceptics, who note a consistent pattern of official lying, foot-dragging and concealment. Last week, officials finally admitted something long argued by its critics: that thousands of people with homes near the crippled nuclear plant may not be able to return for a generation or more. "We can't rule out the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes for a long time," said Yukio Edano, the government's top government spokesman. "We are very sorry."

Last Friday, hundreds of former residents from Futaba and Okuma, the towns nearest the plant, were allowed to visit their homes – perhaps for the last time – to pick up belongings. Wearing masks and radiation suits, they drove through the 20km contaminated zone around the plant, where hundreds of animals have died and rotted in the sun, to find kitchens and living rooms partly reclaimed by nature. "It's hard to believe we ever lived here," one former resident told NHK.

Several other areas northwest of the plant have become atomic ghost towns after being ordered to evacuate – too late, say many residents, who believe they absorbed dangerous quantities of radiation in the weeks after the accident. "We've no idea when we can come back," says Katsuzo Shoji, who farmed rice and cabbages and kept a small herd of cattle near Iitate, a picturesque village about 40km from the plant.

Although it is outside the exclusion zone, the village's mountainous topography meant radiation, carried by wind and rain, lingered, poisoning crops, water and school playgrounds.

The young, the wealthy, mothers and pregnant women left for Tokyo or elsewhere. Most of the remaining 6000 people have since evacuated, after the government accepted that safe radiation limits had been exceeded.

Mr Shoji, 75, went from shock to rage, then despair when the government told him he would have to destroy his vegetables, kill his six cows and move with his wife Fumi, 73, to an apartment in Koriyama, about 20km away. "We've heard five, maybe 10 years but some say that's far too optimistic," he says, crying. "Maybe I'll be able to come home to die." He was given initial compensation of one million yen (£7,900) by Tepco, topped up with 350,000 yen from the government.

It is the fate of people outside the evacuation zones, however, that causes the most bitter controversy. Parents in Fukushima City, 63km from the plant, have banded together to demand that the government do more to protect about 100,000 children. Schools have banned soccer and other outdoor sports. Windows are kept closed. "We've just been left to fend for ourselves," says Machiko Sato, a grandmother who lives in the city. "It makes me so angry."

Many parents have already sent their children to live with relatives or friends hundreds of kilometres away. Some want the government to evacuate the entire two million population of Fukushima Prefecture. "They're demanding the right to be able to evacuate," says anti-nuclear activist Aileen Mioko Smith, who works with the parents. "In other words, if they evacuate they want the government to support them."

So far, at least, the authorities say that is not necessary. The official line is that the accident at the plant is winding down and radiation levels outside of the exclusion zone and designated "hot spots" are safe.

But many experts warn that the crisis is just beginning. Professor Tim Mousseau, a biological scientist who has spent more than a decade researching the genetic impact of radiation around Chernobyl, says he worries that many people in Fukushima are "burying their heads in the sand." His Chernobyl research concluded that biodiversity and the numbers of insects and spiders had shrunk inside the irradiated zone, and the bird population showed evidence of genetic defects, including smaller brain sizes.

"The truth is that we don't have sufficient data to provide accurate information on the long-term impact," he says. "What we can say, though, is that there are very likely to be very significant long-term health impact from prolonged exposure."

In Soma, Mr Ichida says all the talk about radiation is confusing. "All we want to do is get back to work. There are many different ways to die, and having nothing to do is one of them."

Economic cost
Fukushima: Japan has estimated it will cost as much as £188bn to rebuild following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Chernobyl There are a number of estimates of the economic impact, but thetotal cost is thought to be about £144bn.

Fukushima: workers are allowed to operate in the crippled plant up to a dose of 250mSv (millisieverts).
Chernobyl: People exposed to 350mSv were relocated. In most countries the maximum annual dosage for a worker is 20mSv. The allowed dose for someone living close to a nuclear plant is 1mSv a year.

Death toll
Fukushima: Two workers died inside the plant. Some scientists predict that one million lives will be lost to cancer.
Chernobyl: It is difficult to say how many people died on the day of the disaster because of state security, but Greenpeace estimates that 200,000 have died from radiation-linked cancers in the 25 years since the accident.

Exclusion zone
Fukushima: Tokyo initially ordered a 20km radius exclusion zone around the plant
Chernobyl: The initial radius of the Chernobyl zone was set at 30km – 25 years later it is still largely in place.

Fukushima: Tepco's share price has collapsed since the disaster largely because of the amount it will need to pay out, about £10,000 a person
Chernobyl: Not a lot. It has been reported that Armenian victims of the disaster were offered about £6 each in 1986

Fukushima: The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported bilateral aid worth $95m
Chernobyl: 12 years after the disaster, the then Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, complained that his country was still waiting for international help.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Greenpeace take government to court

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Greenpeace takes government to court over nuclear power expansion

26 August, 2011
Greenpeace UK has today served legal papers on the government for unlawfully failing to take into account the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in their future planning for the building of new nuclear power stations at sites in Britain.

In a 1611 page legal submission to the High Court, Greenpeace is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision not to take into account specialist advice on the implications of the Fukushima disaster on future reactors, which it has an obligation to do. The case made by Greenpeace against the government and the secretary of state Chris Huhne includes:

That the secretary of state unlawfully chose to press ahead with his plans for new nuclear reactors at eight sites in England and Wales (through the Nuclear National Policy Statement) without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima disaster.
That the government appears to have regarded Dr Mike Weightman’s Interim Report into the lessons from Fukushima as a ‘green light’ for proceeding with the Nuclear National Policy Statement even though that the report highlighted areas of serious concern requiring further investigation and that Dr Weightman’s review remains ongoing.
That communications between government officials and nuclear companies seems to show that there was no real intention to properly consider the implications of the disturbing events at Fukushima with an open mind as to what careful analysis of those events and their aftermath might reveal about the safety of nuclear power and the UK’s ability to respond to a major nuclear incident.
That he failed to fully consider all the risks of flooding to a nuclear site despite the evidence of how flooding affected operations at Fukishima. Five of the eight sites identified for new reactors are wholly or partly in areas classified by the Environment Agency as being areas of high flood risk.
That he failed to wait for analysis of the lessons from Fukushima on how electricity supply, both on and off site, including back up sources and supplies can be guaranteed in the event of an emergency over suitably long timescales in order to provide vital cooling for reactors. The root causes for the Fukushima station blackout and loss of power supply have not yet been properly analysed.
That the Nuclear National Policy Statement fails to fully consider the lessons from Fukushima on the need for emergency planning for on and off site consequences of a nuclear accident involving a much wider emergency situation with radiation releases over a prolonged time and involving a need to evacuate and re-house large numbers of people. The Japanese emergency planning system demonstrably failed to provide early and sufficient protection for the civilian population in Japan.
Commenting on the legal case John Sauven, Greenpeace Executive Director said:

“The tragic events of Fukushima have been a catalyst for governments around the world to look again at the safety and viability of their nuclear plans. Instead of following the lead of countries like Germany, our government has recklessly decided to push ahead with new nuclear power without properly taking into account many of the lessons from Fukushima or wider implications for the nuclear industry.

"We believe the government’s failure to properly consult experts and the public after the Fukushima tragedy amounts to a dangerous attempt to cut corners and carve out voices of concern, in order to keep pushing forward with its favoured technology. We think they should be challenged on this.

"Following Fukushima, a number of countries decided nuclear power wasn’t worth the risk or increased costs and focused on safer, clean renewable technologies. Instead in Britain, despite election promises, the coalition government is planning hundreds of millions of pounds more in hidden subsidies for the nuclear industry and dragging its heels on creating the green jobs and growth we need. This judicial review should act as wake up call for the government to think again to stop closing ranks with the nuclear industry and properly consult.”


Notes to editors:

UK governments have a long record of failure to properly or fairly consult on nuclear issues.

In February 2007 Greenpeace was successful in its application for judicial review of the then government’s decision to give policy support to nuclear power. The court held that the decision not give support to nuclear power was in breach of Greenpeace’s legitimate expectation of full consultation.
In May 2007, the government published a new consultation on the Future of Nuclear Power. A complaint by Greenpeace and other NGOs was upheld by the Market Research Standards Board which found that “..there were a number of examples where they considered that objectively viewed, information was inaccurately or misleadingly presented, or was imbalanced, which gave rise to a material risk of respondents being led towards a particular answer.”
For press enquiries call 07711 156 881
Article tagged as: Climate Change, Energy, Fukushima, Government, Judicial Review, Nuclear Power

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gazprom to invest in RWE or Horizon

Amazing as it seems the UK government doesn't want to buy gas off the Russians it just wants them to build and own new nuclear power stations for us.

With the German nation wanting e.on and RWe to end their involvement in new nuclear it looks like Horizon may soon have new owners.

Gazprom are in the box seat!

Watch this space as the Getmans bail out

Urgewald invite Reg Illingworth to speak at RWE Shareholders Conference

← Atomlobby beherrscht ReaktorsicherheitskommissionGreenpeace-Studie: Was Strom wirklich kostet →
Urgewald und kritische Aktionäre fordern Rücktritt von RWE-Chef Großmann
Publiziert am 19. April 2011 von AG-Öffentlichkeit//D
Pressemitteilung 19. April 2011

urgewald und Kritische Aktionäre fordern Rücktritt von RWE-Chef GroßmannDie Umweltorganisation urgewald und der Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionäre fordern die RWE AG bei der morgigen Hauptversammlung in Essen auf, sich von ihrer verantwortungslosen Atompolitik zu verabschieden, die Klage gegen das Atom-Moratorium zurückzuziehen und den Vorstandsvorsitzenden Großmann zu entlassen.

Während sich zwischen den politischen Parteien ein Kompromiss für einen schnelleren Ausstieg aus der Atomenergienutzung abzeichnet, kämpft RWE verbissen für die Kernenergie. “Die Katastrophe in Fukushima führt der Welt die Unbeherrschbarkeit der Atomenergie vor Augen”, erklärt Heffa Schücking, Geschäftsführerin von urgewald. “Vorstandschef Jürgen Großmann hat bis letztes Jahr immer wieder behauptet, Japan zeige, dass man sichere AKW auch in erdbebengefährdeten Regionen bauen könne. Zum Glück machten Proteste und mangelnde Finanzierung einen Strich durch Herrn Grossmanns abenteuerliche Pläne, AKW an erdbebengefährdeten Standorten in Bulgarien und Rumänien zu errichten.”

“Als einziger Energiekonzern hat RWE Klage gegen die vorläufige Abschaltung eines Atomkraftwerks eingelegt und stellt sich damit gesellschaftlich ins Abseits,” sagt Markus Dufner, Geschäftsführer des Dachverbands Kritischer Aktionäre. “Viele Kleinanleger sind gegen die RWE-Klage und immer mehr Städte und Gemeinden, die dem Verband der kommunalen RWE-Aktionäre (VKA) angehören, fordern den Atomausstieg.”

Im Ausland will RWE nach wie vor neue Atomkraftwerke bauen, so in Großbritannien, wo RWE und E.ON gemeinsam sechs Atomreaktoren in Oldbury und Wylfa planen. Reg Illingworth von der Bürgerinitiative in Oldbury ist extra für die Hauptversammlung angereist, um dagegen zu protestieren: “RWE weigert sich, der Realität des Restrisikos ins Auge zu sehen. Dass es innerhalb von 32 Jahren in drei Atomkraftwerken zu Kernschmelzen gekommen ist, zeigt, dass die Grundannahmen der Atomindustrie hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit solcher Ereignisse falsch und unverantwortlich sind. Die Bürger von Oldbury und Wylfa wollen nicht die Leidtragenden sein.”

RWEs aggressive Atom- wie auch Kohlepolitik, die besonders mit Vorstandschef Großmann verbunden ist, blockiert die Energiewende. Aus Sicht von urgewald und der Kritischen Aktionäre gefährdet dies nicht nur die Sicherheit und das Klima, sondern setzt auch den langfristigen Wert des Unternehmens aufs Spiel. “Im Jahresbericht erklärt RWE selbst, dass die Investoren dem Unternehmen Geld anvertraut haben und es die Aufgabe RWEs sei, damit verantwortungsvoll zu wirtschaften”, so Schücking. “Die aktuelle Konzernpolitik tut dies nicht. Deshalb sollte RWE dem Motto seines Geschäftsberichts folgen und Klartext reden. Und zwar mit Jürgen Großmann: Er muss entweder seinen Atomkurs ändern oder sich einen neuen Job suchen, da er RWE mehr schadet als nutzt,” fordern Dufner und Schücking.

Interviews vorab oder am 20. April ab 8:15 Uhr vor der Grugahalle in Essen

Kontakt und weitere Informationen: urgewald, Heffa Schücking, 0160-96 76 14 36,,
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionäre, Markus Dufner, Geschäftsführer
Tel. 0221 / 599 56 47, mobil 0173 – 713 52 37,, www.kritischeaktionä

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Hinterlasse eine Antwort

Japanese children exposed to dangerous levels of radiation

Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima

17 August 2011

We submitted this document to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 17 August.

This submission concerns the violation of the human rights of the children of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. These children have been continually exposed to radioactive contamination since 11 March 2011, the start of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, and urgent measures are needed to reduce this exposure.

The children of Fukushima have the same right as all other children in Japan to live a life free from unnecessary, preventable radiation exposure. We urgently request that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/OHCHR come to Japan to investigate this matter.

>Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima (PDF)

submitted by;
The Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation
Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai)
FoE Japan (International Environmental NGO)
Green Action
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai)
Greenpeace Japan

Monday, 11 July 2011

Statement from Horizon Nuclear Power

Statement from Horizon Nuclear Power

“No announcement has been made regarding Horizon or UK nuclear new build. There has been no change in our plans and it’s very much business as usual for Horizon. 

Both our shareholders have also publicly confirmed this position this week.

"The situation remains as it was when we spoke face to face with local people in June. We expect to have more details on our approach to the Oldbury project in the new year".

Leon Flexman Head of Communications

Leon Flexman's Response to SANE Member

As you know, we are committed to open and honest communication with local people throughout the development of our proposals to build a new nuclear power station near Oldbury-on-Severn. To ensure that we are as pro-active as we can be in this regard we produce a local community update newsletter which is delivered to over 15,000 homes in the Oldbury and Thornbury area as well as to communities on the far side of the River Severn. Following the distribution last month of the fifth issue of this newsletter we have received numerous calls and emails from local people raising queries they have about our proposed project and, as always, we take care to respond to these enquiries in the fullest way we can but at this stage of the project we don’t necessarily have all the answers.

This year we have also been carrying out a programme of talks to local groups as well as instigating a series of regular drop in surgeries – both of which allow local people the opportunity to put questions directly to Horizon’s Oldbury development team. These activities are on-going and are in addition to the public exhibitions and other engagement events we will continue to hold as our prosed project develops.

It is also important to highlight that the new planning regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects requires developers, such as Horizon, to carry out extensive pre-application public consultation ahead of making an application for a DCO, which is effectively the planning permission for a project such as ours. This formal pre-application consultation is a key part of the new planning regime and allows local communities and individuals to review our proposals in detail and enables us to use the public feedback we receive to shape our plans. Our pre-application consultation has yet to begin and will only be carried out once sufficient information exists.

We will set out how we will consult communities at the pre-application stage in a Statement of Community Consultation (SOCC).The SOCC is being developed with local authority input and when finalised will be published in local papers and on our website.

Developing a new nuclear power station is a complex and lengthy process and we are still very much in the early stages. Your emails raise a number of questions which I have answered below as extensively as I can – given that at this stage in the development process many of the studies that will inform our future plans are still on-going or yet to be undertaken.

As you will see I have combined the responses to a number of your questions for clarity.

Flooding Issues
Your question asked why Horizon is seeking to develop a new nuclear plant at Oldbury given the site’s position on a flood plain. You also asked how the proposed development will be protected against possible flooding and how this fits with the EA’s designation of the site and Horizon’s commitment to safety.

Land adjacent to the existing power station at Oldbury is one of 8 UK sites included in the Government's draft Nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS) as being suitable for new nuclear build. We believe that the Oldbury site meets all of the criteria set out by the Government as part of its Strategic Siting Assessment (SSA) for new nuclear development. The existing power station has operated on the adjacent site safely for forty years. If managed correctly, we believe the area can accommodate a new development safely taking into account the flood plain location and the possible effects of climate change and/or a major flooding event.

In addition to demonstrating the safety of our site in the event of flooding, we will have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the regulators that the measures do not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere in the locality. In fact it is possible that the steps we take may well improve flood protection for the area as a whole.

As part of the stringent planning and licensing process we are required to undertake for our proposed new nuclear power station near Oldbury-on-Severn, we will be carrying out extensive assessment of a range of potential natural events. This includes the requirement to consider events with a probability of up to 1 in 10,000 years, taking account of the possible effects of natural disasters such as tsunamis or storm surges, as well as the possible implications of climate change.

Our proposals to do this are currently being developed in conjunction with the Environment Agency (EA) and Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). They are likely to consist of a combination of raising the site level and improving existing flood protection measures. We are aware of the 1607 event you refer to in your questions and such events would have to be fully considered as part of the detailed modelling work.
You can be assured that our proposals with regards to flood protection will be assessed extremely thoroughly by the regulators. The ONR continually reviews safety arrangements against world best practice, applying knowledge from lessons learned from around the world before and throughout the operational lifetime of the plant. This includes assessing the probability of incidents with defined consequences and requires that the chance of occurrence is reduced to a level that is As Low as Reasonably Practicable – also referred to as the ALARP principle.

More information on this can be found on the HSE website. In particular you may find its report “The Tolerability of Risk from Nuclear Power Stations” of interest. Go

Finally, the interim report that has been compiled after the Japanese Tsunami by the UK’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations Dr. Mike Weightman, recommends a review of the flood protection standards in the UK to revalidate them and we agree with that.

Cooling tower issues
You asked if Horizon has ruled out 200m high cooling towers and, if not why not. You also asked if Horizon’s preferred choice of hybrid towers will add to the overall costs of the development.

Last year we announced that Hybrid cooling towers are our preferred option for the proposed new nuclear plant near Oldbury. Circular Hybrid towers, which use fans, are up to 70m in height and are more in keeping with the existing Magnox power station. This decision to state our strong preference for hybrid towers is a key milestone for the Oldbury project and is helping to shape our on-going development work.

With hybrid cooling towers the capital cost is indeed higher than the cost of building natural draught cooling towers. Similarly, running costs for hybrid cooling towers are also more than those associated with natural draught towers, as energy will be required to power the fans, and the maintenance and equipment replacement costs are higher. However, it is important to point out that all of these costs for the cooling towers are a very small percentage of the overall figure of around £8 billion that would be invested into a new nuclear power station at Oldbury.

Natural Draft Cooling Towers (NDCT) are an efficient engineering option but they are just one of the options that we have had to consider. We have never stated they were the preferred option. The best option for the site should balance technical, commercial and environmental factors.
As part of the planning and licensing process for nuclear new build in the UK we are required to evaluate all the realistic options for the major aspects of the development and to formally consult with statutory stakeholder groups and local communities on our preferred options.

We won’t rule out natural draft cooling towers until we’ve been through that process and gauged public opinion, but we believe we’ve been as clear as we can be about our preference.

Commercial issues
You asked if the Horizon is seeking subsides from the UK tax-payer and what level of profit per KWh generated the company is seeking from Oldbury.

Firstly, Horizon is not seeking subsidies from the UK tax payer for nuclear power, all we require is a level playing field with other forms of low-carbon generation. As you are no doubt aware, the UK’s old coal, oil and nuclear power stations are coming to the end of their lives, which means that the country needs lots more power generation capacity to meet demand. In fact the Government estimates the UK will need 59GW of new capacity by 2025. In comparison we currently have 85GW of power station capacity.

The Government wants as much of that new capacity as possible to come from low carbon energy to meet the target of reducing greenhouse gases by 80 per cent from 1990 to 2050. It estimates that renewable energy will contribute up to 33GW and it wants nuclear to make up as much of the remainder as possible.

Nuclear power is the only proven technology capable of delivering large quantities of low carbon power that is available almost constantly. If you judge all the major low carbon technologies on an equal basis it is also the most economical in terms of the cost per unit of electricity generated.

As already stated in an answer above, Horizon will potentially be investing £8 billion in a new nuclear power station at Oldbury and will be seeking a return on this investment. Final investment decisions are still some years away and so we are not in a position to expand on this further.

Policy issues
You raised a number of issues with regards to recent decisions by the German Government with regards to nuclear power and asked what the implications are for Horizon’s German shareholders.

We can’t comment on behalf of our shareholders but they have said publicly that the situation in Germany has no direct impact on the new build programme in the UK. We are continuing with our development activities.

Health & wellbeing
You asked a number of questions with regards to possible links between living close to nuclear sites and instances of childhood leukaemia.

Safety and Health are our absolute top priorities and on radioactive health issues we will take our lead from the experts. The Health Protection Agency and the Independent Government advisory group COMARE (Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment) are the independent authorities in the UK).

COMARE’s studies strongly support the scientific consensus that the levels of radiation around nuclear power stations are much too low to cause leukaemia clusters. In its Fourteenth Report, published last month (May 2011), COMARE concluded that it saw no evidence to support the view that there is an increased risk of childhood leukaemia and other cancers in the vicinity of nuclear power plants in Great Britain.

Page 36 -55 include COMARE’s review of the German KIKK study. 

Recent Events in Japan
You asked a number of questions with regards to the events in Fukushima and the subsequent decision by the Japanese Government to cancel nuclear new builds.

Without first-hand knowledge it is not appropriate for us to comment on the details of the event or the on-going response from the Japanese Government, however we’re watching the situation closely as is everyone in the nuclear industry worldwide.

The UK has very different circumstances to Japan – we don’t have magnitude 9 earthquakes and Oldbury is not near a tectonic fault line. We will use the very latest reactor technologies with very different design features. Even so the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr. Mike Weightman has been asked by Government to produce reports looking into the events at Fukushima so that any lessons learned can be incorporated into the safety regimes governing existing and future plant in the UK.

In his ‘interim’ report Dr Weightman has said there is no reason for new build proposals to be put on hold. The report also contains 26 recommendations designed to ensure no learnings are missed and we will shape our proposals around these recommendations.
The safety regime in the UK is extremely stringent. As outlined elsewhere in this response, developers have to undertake assessments for a wide range of natural phenomena including earthquakes and tsunami, as well as man-made threats. We have to show conclusively that our proposals are robust enough to withstand even the least likely events.

Nuclear waste storage
Following on from recent events in Japan you asked what specific safeguards we are offering the local community on safety with regards to the storage of nuclear waste on site.

We will be required to demonstrate, in our site licence application, that nuclear waste can be safely stored onsite. Those plans are not yet written but the UK has a forty-year-plus record of the safe onsite management of nuclear waste and this is internationally recognised as being robust and effectively regulated.

We will also ensure that our proposals reflect any learnings from the Chief Nuclear Inspectors reports into the events at Fukushima.

In the longer term the Government is developing proposals for the Geological Disposal Facility which will be the ultimate home for intermediate level waste, high level waste and spent fuel. The precise nature of this facility may allow the earlier removal of onsite waste to a central facility which may be a more logistically practical solution than multiple storage at sites around thecountry.

You asked about Horizon’s views on the Government’s localism agenda and if its Localism Bill will impact on our proposed development.

The whole purpose of the extensive consultation process we are required to undertake, before a planning application is even made, is to take people’s views on board and a large proportion of those views will come from people and organisations from the area. It is very unlikely there will be a unanimous view of any sort from ‘local people’ however one might choose to define that group. We have many supporters, as well as those with concerns, and those whose views are likely to depend on the details of our plans. In our view our role is to put forward proposals that are well thought out and reflect local people’s ideas and hopes and address their concerns.

You asked about employment opportunities for local people being guaranteed.

This project will create around 800 permanent jobs which will include everything from nuclear scientists and engineers to admin staff, security guards and gardeners. The construction phase will require several thousand workers, peaking at around 5,000, and a significant demand for local goods and services.

Undoubtedly some of the workforce will be from outside the area, and some from abroad, but we will ensure that there will be jobs and work for local people during construction, operation and
decommissioning of this station. The challenge for everyone involved in nuclear new build is to make sure local opportunities are maximised.

I hope that this response goes someway to answering your queries, if you have any further queries please email or call our Freephone number 0800 130 3125.

Kind regards


Leon Flexman
Head of Communications
Horizon Nuclear Power
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