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New petition: Stop Hinkley nuclear plant and spend the money on renewable instead

Posted by Richard Casson - 7th March 2016

If you tuned into the news this morning you might have heard how Hinkley nuclear plant has suffered a further blow. The finance director for EDF, the French energy firm that plans to build the nuclear reactor, has resigned amid rumours that going ahead with the new nuclear plant could leave the company in ruins.

For almost a decade, Hinkley nuclear plant has suffered delay after delay. It’s a project that is not only stands to suck up huge amounts of cash, it’s directing valuable time and resources away from where the UK should be investing — renewable energy and energy efficiency.

That’s why we’ve launched a new petition calling on George Osborne to do what he should have done years ago and scrap the project. Here’s the email I just sent out to Greenpeace’s list.

Hi there,

George Osborne could be about to make a huge mistake.

He’s preparing to spend billions on a new nuclear plant at Hinkley in Somerset. If it goes ahead, Hinkley is set to be the most expensive object on Earth [1] – sucking up huge amounts of money that could be spent on renewable energy instead.

But right now we’ve got a chance to stop him. The finance director of EDF — the energy firm that plans to build the reactor — just resigned amid concerns that Hinkley could plunge the company into a financial black hole.

It’s going to be pretty embarrassing for George Osborne if he ploughs on when Hinkley’s cost could bankrupt the company building it. So let’s seize this moment to turn up the pressure on the chancellor. Let’s tell him now’s the time to scrap Hinkley — and spend consumers’ cash on renewable energy instead.

Sign the petition:

If George Osborne pushes ahead, Hinkley will be the first nuclear plant built in the UK in two decades. But the chancellor’s plans are going nowhere fast. The reactor design is so complicated that no one’s sure if it will even work. One nuclear expert went so far as to call it “unconstructable” [2]. And three other power stations — in France, Finland and China — that are trying to use the same type of reactor are suffering from huge delays too.

The cost of the project is staggering. Best guesses say Hinkley could pass £24 billion — easily making it the most expensive power station in world history.

Personally I’m shocked that George ‘Austerity’ Osborne can keep on backing Hinkley, even as the cost keeps going up and up. Can you help tell him that thousands of us think that backing renewable energy is a better use of our cash? Sign the petition here:

While Hinkley nuclear plant has spent almost a decade in limbo, renewable power projects have been far quicker to build. The London Array — the world’s biggest offshore wind farm — took less than three years to construct. And even if building Hinkley was to begin tomorrow, by the time it’s up and running the cost of renewable energy will have dropped even further.

Though George Osborne might tell us we need Hinkley to keep the lights on, we know this is far from the truth. Recent research showed that as soon as 2030, the UK could be powered almost entirely by renewables [3]. The UK is one of the windiest places in Europe, we’ve got huge untapped potential in solar power, and we’re surrounded by sea too. If you agree that natural sources of energy like these should top government investment, not more risky and expensive nuclear power, please sign the petition now:

Thanks for being involved,

Richard Casson
Greenpeace UK


Article Tagged as: Energy, Featured