Anti-nuclear protestors will demonstrate in Bristol demanding Bristolians be consulted about plans for two new nuclear reactors near the city.
The protest outside the council house on Tuesday afternoon has been organised by Lib Dem councillor Mark Wright, who has also asked the council to formally oppose the new reactors at Oldbury and Hinkley Point.
Hinkley Point, near Burnham, is about 25 miles from Bristol. Oldbury in Gloucestershire is only 8 miles outside the city boundaries.
Dr Wright, who is a long-term campaigner against nuclear power told Jones The News: “The government is pressing ahead with imposing a new wave of nuclear reactors on the country, because they haven’t pulled their finger out in time to get renewable energy up and running. We’re going to have two of them near Bristol.
“These power stations are being pushed through and there have been no consultations near Bristol. Consultations have been held for people living in the towns just north of Bristol, but none here.
“There are half a million people in greater Bristol and I’m sure many of them have views on these power stations.”
Dr Wright’s motion will be discussed at a full meeting of Bristol City council on Tuesday afternoon. It calls on the city to oppose the new reactors and to demand more consultation for people in the city.
Jim Duffy, Coordinator of the Stop Hinkley campaign group said: “People from Bristol were very involved in the previous Hinkley C inquiry in 1988-89. It will be an important message if the City Council votes to oppose the new development.
“Being downwind from Hinkley and so close to Oldbury, Bristolians should not be excluded from deciding on something that could profoundly affect them.”
The power companies involved in building the new reactors claim they have consulted Bristolians through discussions with the city council and the government.
EDF Energy, the firm that intends to build the new Hinkley Point reactor, told Jones The News in a statement that the first stage of a pre-application public consultation had just finished on January 18, and that they had been encouraged by the level of public response.
They said: “Over 1,000 local people have attended public consultation events and more than 400 stakeholders have participated at additional stakeholder meetings to date. Bristol City Council were formally consulted about our initial proposals and options in November 2009.
“We continue to welcome views on our proposals and will review all responses before we carry out the second stage of consultation in the spring. Details can be found online at http://www.edfconsultation.info
“The consultation’s focus has been the potential impact of the development of new nuclear power at Hinkley Point, and its associated infrastructure, on surrounding local communities particularly those in West Somerset and neighbouring Sedgemoor.
“Additional national consultations on wider questions beyond the immediate local impact, including the need case for new nuclear and where new power stations might be located have also been conducted by Government through which the residents of Bristol could also express their views.”
Horizon Nuclear Power, the joint venture of E-On and RWE behind Oldbury, said: “Bristol is a very important area to us and no decisions will be made before people and local authorities in and around the city have had a chance to have their say on our proposals.
“We’re still in the very early stages of the project and haven’t even begun the formal consultations we are required to do in the run up to a planning application.
“What we have been carrying out is early informal engagement and we thought it was most sensible to start with the communities nearest the power station. We’re looking forward to expanding this to Bristol as we enter the next stage.
“In the meantime the earliest we would apply for planning permission would be towards the end of 2011 with construction unlikely to begin before 2013, and there will be many opportunities during that time for people to have their say and influence the process.”