- Inadequate planning for protecting population in vicinity and beyond from a serious incident, whether due to human error, technical failure, malicious attack, natural events, or a combination thereof.
- In an emergency, evacuation via a single, narrow road would be problematic.
- No evacuation procedure in place for the workers in case of incident at Hinkley B whilst Hinkley C is under construction.
- Weaknesses in off-site emergency communications plan, which could delay an immediate large-scale response by several hours.
- No clear provision for level of manpower and emergency service resources that would need to be immediately available.
- There is a 100-year flood risk in this area, and spent fuel would be stored on site for at least 160 years.
- Inadequate provision for the danger of flooding and structural damage arising from an unforeseen tidal wave event.
- Such events have occurred before locally, e.g. in 1607, and cannot be ruled out in future.
- In particular, depletion of ice mass in polar regions due to global warming may lead to increased seismic activity in future, plus sea levels are expected to rise.
PROBLEMS WITH EDF NUCLEAR BUILDS / EPR DESIGN
- Four existing EPR projects are all experiencing design and construction problems, at Flamanville 3 (France), Olkiluoto 3 (Finland) and Taishan 1 & 2 (China).
- To date, no reactor of EPR design has been completed anywhere in the world. Unresolved design issues remain, concerns having been expressed by nuclear regulators in UK, France and Finland.
WASTE / SPENT FUEL
- Inadequate planning for management of radioactive waste produced by the proposed facility.
- High-level spent fuel storage on site (for at least 160 years): not had this previously at Hinkley; an unacceptable burden to place on present and future generations.
- Spent fuel would be much hotter and more radioactive than with earlier reactor designs. How would it be cooled?
- Storage area ponds not yet designed.
- Hinkley thought to only have a 7-year spent fuel storage capacity.
- Prolonged storage of such waste on-site, with no viable final disposal solution in the UK or anywhere in the world, exposes the population to the risk of contamination through flooding or other incidents. This is negligent towards future generations, who must continue to manage the waste. It furthermore assumes they will have the information and social and physical resources necessary to ensure safe containment for millennia to come.
- Serious concerns regarding new nuclear build that were raised in the National Policy Statements consultation have been ignored, which seriously undermines the case for approving any new nuclear power station.
- National Grid impact – pylons
- EDF has reportedly been offering inducements to local schools and businesses, to curry favour with the local community.
- In France last year, EDF employees and agents were found guilty of spying on environmental group Greenpeace.
- There have been reports of collusion between the UK Government and EDF to downplay the seriousness of the Fukushima disaster.
- The applicant has therefore not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy or transparent.
EFFECTS ON LANDSCAPE, BIODIVERSITY AND LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
- Radioactive contamination of the land – ref: Green Audit report
- Hinkley Point includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), is situated within the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve, overlooks the Severn Estuary RAMSAR site, and neighbours the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- The Government’s Public Service Agreement (PSA) target is to have 95% of the SSSIs in favourable or recovering condition by 2010.
- Removal of woodlands and hedges would affect habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, including protected species.
- Since the site and locality are of such ecological, scientific and aesthetic importance, they would be inappropriate for such a development, which would undermine their protected status as well as their recreational value.
- The impact of chronic low-level radiation exposure on public health and local ecology is being ignored.
- Discharges of airborne and liquid radioactive emissions into the environment affect local and downwind populations and contaminate soils and sediment in the estuary, e.g. Bridgwater Bay mudflats.
- Monitoring and reporting of radioactive discharges is inadequate (public is only given annual average figures).
- Public health issues, e.g. Burnham-on-Sea, downwind of Hinkley – cancer clusters.
- Inadequate assessment of the impacts of a large influx of workers.
- Risk of local unemployment increasing as more people flock to the area seeking work than there are jobs available, as has reportedly happened at Flamanville in France.
- EDF reportedly treats its workers shabbily. French trade unions report that the workers are treated like ‘slaves’.
- Weightman report is premature and has been criticised. Fukushima crisis is ongoing: far too early to be able to make a comprehensive assessment of the implications of the disaster for new nuclear build in the UK.
CONCERNS ABOUT FINANCE AND DECOMMISSIONING ARRANGEMENTS, RISK OF INSOLVENCY, INSURANCE LIABILITIES, ETC
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO RAISE OTHER ISSUES NOT INCLUDED ABOVE IN THE COURSE OF THE EXAMINATION.