‘This has been a lone battle’: Frustration at government approach to nuclear plant plans in UK. AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE will express its concerns to UK authorities about plans to build a new power plant on the west coast of England as environmental experts here claim the government has failed to consider the possible consequences for Ireland. Attracta Uí Bhroin, of the Irish Environmental Network told the Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government that her intention was not to panic people or cause unnecessary concern, but her organisation wants to ensure Irish people’s rights are upheld. Although the process for the new nuclear site at Hinckley Point in England, which is 250km from the coast of Ireland, began five years ago, it was only in 2016 that the news about the plans broke. Hinkley Point C was given the final investment approval by French energy giant EDF, which has a two-thirds share and which is building the plant in conjunction with a Chinese company. Speaking to TDs and senators today, Uí Broin pointed out that of the eight power plants the UK has planned as part of its energy expansion, “five are on the west coast of the UK, facing Ireland on the most densely populated east coast”. Some of these plants are planned in locations closer than Hinkley Point C. The potential economic impact of a nuclear leak or meltdown could be very serious, she explained. A 2016 ESRI report considered a scenario where there was a nuclear incident, but with no radioactive contamination reaching Ireland. “Even then they estimated that impact economically could be in the order of €4 billion,” she said, explaining that an incident such as this would have serious implications for the agrifood and tourism industries in Ireland. In the event of an incident where there is a risk of contamination, she said there are no detailed plans in place to protect Irish people, the water supply, or the country’s farm animals and produce. Uí Bhroin was joined by Professors John Sweeney and Steve Thomas, who outlined some of the specific concerns around safety assessment and treatment of waste. Sweeney was critical of the models used in risk assessments – some older models were used in calculations, for example, despite the fact that more modern ones exist. Thomas spoke about some of the parts of the plant which are being made in France and which French regulatory authorities will not a clear for use in French nuclear plants. Uí Bhroin said there was an “extraordinary level of frustration, anger and disappointment” among environmental groups at the government’s reaction to these plans.
The Journal 2nd May 2018 read more »
Hinkley workers stage sit-in over new shift patterns. Main civils contractor Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke (BYLOR) is proposing the new shift working arrangement. Workers complain that the new plans would leave them out of pocket. One said: “On the new eleven on and three off shifts they are proposing, we would lose half a day’s pay, as the site shuts early on a Friday. “However, you can come in on a Saturday if you like, to make up the hours. Nobody is going to agree to this.
Construction Enquirer 1st May 2018 read more »
Contractors Bylor have responded to the sit-in protest at Britain’s latest nuclear power plant development. Workers at Hinkley Point C in Bridgwater staged a sit-in protest in a canteen on Tuesday morning (May 1) over changes to shift patterns – it’s claimed that hundreds of workers joined the protest. One of the staff members protesting, who asked to remain anonymous, told Somerset Live : “(there are) 396 workforce standing strong in (the) canteen over imposed shift patterns.”
Somerset Live 1st May 2018 read more »
The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government will meet tomorrow at 12pm in Committee Room 1, Leinster House. The Committee will discuss the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant. The following witnesses will address the Committee: Emeritus Prof. John Sweeney; Emeritus Prof. Stephen Thomas; Ms. Attracta Uí Bhroin, Irish Environmental Network. Committee Chair, Maria Bailey TD, said today, “Hinkley Point, on the Somerset coast, is to be the location of the proposed Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant. There are those who argue that nuclear power is becoming increasingly obsolete, rendering the new plant outdated before it is even completed. Under the terms of an EU Directive, assessments are made on certain public and private projects on the environment. Member States within the EU have to engage in transboundary public consultation. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has responsibility for this consultation in Ireland and as such, the Committee will be examining the planning implications of the proposed plant.”
Irish Parliament 30th April 2018 read more »
Hinkley Point C: Grants on offer for businesses affected by increased HGV traffic in Bridgwater.
Somerset Live 30th April 2018 read more »