In what will be a major setback for the pro-nuclear lobby, the two greenfield sites at Kirksanton and Braystones – earmarked for up to 6 new reactors – have been ditched ‘as unsuitable’ by Government. As reported by DECC yesterday, the two coastal sites will no longer feature in the repeat public consultation to be held shortly.
CORE spokesman Martin Forwood said today:
“This comes as no surprise. RWE’s site selection was flawed from the outset and their inept public relations simply added to the widespread local hostility to new-build. With two of the three originally selected West Cumbrian sites now abandoned, CORE’s campaign can now focus on the remaining site at Sellafield – two down, one to go”
The original selection of three sites on the West Cumbria coast was seen as a heaven-sent opportunity by MP Jamie Reed, Copeland Council and others to advance their plans – with no overall public support – to swamp West Cumbria with a range of new nuclear facilities. Whilst the rejection of Kirksanton and Braystones will be a major setback to their plans, it must lead to renewed efforts by the powers to be to diversify the local economy away from all things nuclear.
The joint RWE/EoN plan was to install up 6 Gigawatts (Gw) of nuclear power in the UK. Having acquired the Wylfa (Anglesey) and Oldbury (West country) sites from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority last year which provided ‘the sites that will deliver the 6 Gw’, it was clear that Kirksanton and Braystones had become surplus to requirements – a status further confirmed earlier this year when RWE dropped its contracts for local grid connections.
Martin Forwood added:
“With the blight of nuclear power and RWE’s threat to demolish the Haverigg windfarm now gone, the area and its communities can again turn to increasing the local tourist trade. This, together with the development of benign renewable energies, can provide the safe, clean and secure future West Cumbria deserves”.