The Greenpeace campaign to stop Hinkley nuclear plant is about to go to the heart of political power. An urgent inquiry on the new nuclear plant has been scheduled in Parliament on Wednesday 23 March. 

Greenpeace’s chief scientist Dr Doug Parr will be there to give evidence. They want 100,000 people to show politicians how unpopular Hinkley is. So they ask you to sign their petition.

This isn't a petition against nuclear power altogether. It’s about this scheme for an EPR at Hinkley. EDF have failed so far to get a single EPR reactor up and running. 

Cost

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. The money could be spent much better elsewhere.

Hinkley is set to be the most expensive object on Earth [ref. 1] – sucking up huge amounts of money that could be spent on renewable energy instead. 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. 

EPR’s are unlikely to contribute towards the achievement of UK’s 4th and 5th carbon budgets and would be a profligate waste of cash.  Renewables, energy storage, a smart grid, increased energy efficiency including housing and transport would be a far better investment.

EDF profits were down 68% on last year, they require 100 Bn Euro to upgrade and make safe existing EDF reactors and they already have a debt of 37 Bn Euros. EDF’s finance director and Union Board members agree that the financial risk of Hinkley C reactor is too great.

Risk of failure

There is a likelihood that the reactor would be very late (2030) and a risk even if built that it may not work. 

A recent review of the life cycle CO2 emissions of thermal nuclear reactors suggests that the EPR is likely to produce >50g of carbon /kWh, more than wind and photovoltaics. 

At the moment the EPR technology is just not good enough, in terms of reliability, cost, radioactive waste disposal etc.

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" [ref. 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.

A French renewables directive may require EDF to scrap a third of their reactors of an earlier design as part.  They may also have to stop construction on, and dismantle their Flamanville reactor having discovered evidence of very serious flaws in the pressure vessel steel in another reactor of the same reactor design still under construction. 

The Finish government are suing them for 2.6 Bn Euros for failing to complete a reactor after 12 years. 

Renewable energy is quicker and cheaper 

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. Recent research showed that as soon as 2030, the UK could be powered almost entirely by renewables [ref 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 this expensive nuclear power, please sign the petition now.