New Nuclear Reactors

This motion opposing new nuclear reactors near Bristol will be put to Council on 19th January 2010 by Cllr Mark Wright (Edit: despite being 3rd on the agenda, debating time ran out before this was reached).

The Motion

Council notes that:

  1. The Government has announced plans to encourage the nuclear industry to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain, including new reactors at Oldbury and Hinkley.
  2. Preliminary "scoping" consultations are under way for those near both planned sites, but will not be coming to Bristol - despite Oldbury being just 8 miles from the city boundary.
  3. The South-west has the best renewable sources of energy in the UK, little of which is currently used.
  4. There has been - and always will be - considerable overlap between the technologies of nuclear weapons and nuclear-fission power, which allows countries to hide weapons programs inside civil power programs.
  5. No nuclear power plant has ever been built without considerable public subsidy and guarantee.

Council believes that:

  1. There is a real risk that focusing on new nuclear plants will undermine attempts to find a safer, cleaner, more sustainable and secure solution to our energy needs and that we should be concentrating our efforts by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  2. New nuclear power stations will arrive too late to fill a possible energy gap.
  3. There remain uncertainties on health and safety issues and there is no agreed solution to nuclear waste.
  4. Putting pressure on foreign powers to limit their own nuclear programmes and halt nuclear weapons proliferation becomes much easier when we have demonstrated that civil nuclear power is not needed in the UK.

This Council therefore resolves to:

  1. State its opposition to the development and expansion of nuclear fission power, and oppose the planned nuclear reactors at Oldbury and Hinkley where possible.
  2. Request that the Chief Executive writes to the applicants and to the likely decision-making body, the Infrastructure Planning Commission, seeking assurances that Bristol City Council and the general public in Bristol are fully consulted in all future stages.