Over 200 anti-nuclear activists blocked the Hinkley Point power plant in Somerset, UK yesterday. While the effort is now over, the activists consider the event to have been a wonderful success.
The activists are members of a number of different activist groups that together make up the Stop New Nuclear alliance.
The protest was focused on showing their disapproval of EDF Energy’s plans to “renew” the site by adding 2 new nuclear reactors. These 2 nuclear reactors would launch the government’s plans to build 8 new nuclear power plants across the nation.
“The government has hoodwinked the public into believing that we need nuclear power to keep the lights on. But this is totally untrue,” Stop New Nuclear spokesman Andreas Speck said.
The coolest part of the protest, in my opinion, is the way in which the activists decided to show the potential spread of nuclear radiation in the UK. Here’s what the Guardian wrote yesterday:
Protesters plan to launch 206 helium balloons – to represent the number of days since trouble began at Fukushima – from Hinkley at noon.
The balloons’ journey will be tracked “to show which areas of the west country will be worst affected should a major disaster happen at Hinkley Point”.
I imagine anyone with such a balloon landing in their area may think twice about the nuclear power plant moving forward.
Only one person was arrested in this protest yesterday, which included blocking access to Hinkley Point.
Of course, the protesters were inspired by Germany’s decision to ban nuclear power 100% (by 2020), and they referenced it in their protest and statements. They were probably also inspired by recent anti-nuclear successes in Italy and Switzerland.
Hinkley Point C, the name of the proposed power plant after getting the new nuclear reactors, would be the first new nuclear power plant in over 20 years.
The groups that make up the Stop New Nuclear Alliance include:
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
- CND Cymru
- Stop Nuclear Power Network UK
- Kick Nuclear
- South West Against Nuclear
- Shutdown Sizewell
- Sizewell Blockaders
- Trident Ploughshares
- Stop Hinkley