Monday, August 02, 2010

Nuclear New Build proposals in England and Wales: Have Your Say

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Received the information below * from the Environment Agency. I'll be taking part in the consulation process and hope many others do likewise. No more nuclear stations should be built and existing ones phased out. Nuclear and its waste is environmentally, socially and economically unsustainable - we should be going for efficiency and renewables.

*Why are we writing to you?
The UK needs new and replacement energy infrastructure that can provide secure, reliable, low carbon electricity. The 2008 Nuclear White Paper said that nuclear power could play a vital role in this. Power companies are now planning to build new nuclear power stations in England and Wales and two sites potentially suitable are at Hinkley Point and Oldbury . We would like to tell you about our role in this process and highlight an opportunity for you to tell us what you think of the designs and our findings so far.

What is happening?
We regulate the nuclear industry on environmental matters and are currently working with the Health and Safety Executive to make sure that any new nuclear power stations would meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. Together we have implemented a new approach called ‘Generic Design Assessment’ (GDA) and have been assessing two new reactor designs from an early stage, in advance of site specific proposals coming forward. This enables us to identify any problems and influence the design at an early stage, before any major construction begins. We are currently assessing two different reactor designs: Westinghouse’s AP1000™ and the Areva/EDF designed UK EPR™.

What next?
As part of our GDA process, we are conducting a consultation on our findings so far. The consultation recently began on 28 June and will last sixteen weeks, closing on 18 October. We welcome your views. At the close of the consultation we will carefully consider the comments received before we reach a final decision on the acceptability of each of the two designs. We intend to publish the key issues raised during our consultation before the end of the year and to come to a view about the acceptability of the designs in June next year.

If a developer comes forward with proposals for a new nuclear power station at a specific site, they will still need to apply for and obtain all the safety, security, environmental, planning and other permits that are required before development can proceed. When considering any future applications for site specific environmental permits we will take into account all the work we have done on GDA.

How can you get involved?
You can take part by visiting the Environment Agency consultation on-line at:
You can call 08708 506 506* and ask for a consultation document, or
send an email to: and request the consultation papers.
* Approximate call costs: 8p plus 6p per minute (standard landline). Please note charges will vary across telephone providers.

Free independent legal advice on: housing; employment; benefits; debt; discrimination; education...

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Passing on this recently received Advice Network press release: Need free, independent, high-quality legal advice? A new local website shows you how to get the help you need.

Advice agencies across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset have collaborated on a new website, which is launched today, to help the public find the right help at the right time.

The new site – – has been created using funding from the Big Lottery Fund by Advice Centres for Avon, a network of organisations who offer free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to anyone who needs it on a wide range of topics such as housing, debt, benefits, consumer issues, education and employment.

In the current difficult economic climate, with many people losing their homes, struggling with debts and entering the benefit system for the first time, accurate and timely legal advice can be the difference between someone’s life falling apart and them being able to manage their problems. The new website aims to help people find the right agency for their problem by letting them search through all of the local organisations for the one that covers the right area of law and is most convenient for them to visit or contact. All of the agencies in the directory offer free, confidential advice in accessible locations across the region, meaning that the public should never have to go too far to get the help they need.

‘Modern life is complex,’ said Jane Emanuel, a project worker at the Advice Network, ‘and it is important that people know where to look for help. The website helps people get to the right place without delay because getting the right advice quickly can make all the difference.’

For people who just need information and self-help materials there are plenty of resources on the site for people to make a vital start in bringing their situation under control. Our advice to the people of Bristol and surrounding areas is this: don’t ignore your problems, get help to deal with them now. can be your first step.’


Notes for editors:
1 – Advice Centres for Avon has been in existence as an informal network since the mid-1980’s.
2 – Member agencies raise more than £8,000,000 per year in additional income for clients across the region, money that is spent locally supporting local economies.
3 – The Advice Network project is a three-year project to promote, defend and improve advice services across the region, running from 2009 - 2012.
Ben Sansum
Project Worker
Advice Network
84-88 Colston Street
Bristol BS1 5BB
0117 929 2153

Contact: Ben Sansum or Jane Emanuel