The intentions of the West Cumbrian Masterplan, posing under the guise of Britain’s Energy Coast, have been thrown into disarray with the revelation that a long established local wind farm will be scrapped to make way for a new nuclear power station.
The revelation was made to a Cumbria County Council Forum meeting yesterday evening (21stApril) following a presentation by German company RWE on its plans to build up to three nuclear reactors at Kirksanton in southwest Cumbria, an agricultural coastal site which was included as one of three West Cumbrian sites featured last week in the Government’s list of new build sites. Confirming the fate of the turbines in response to CORE’s questioning, RWE’s UK Nuclear Development Manager Stuart Dagnall admitted that if construction of the power station was approved ‘the turbines would have to be dismantled’.
The Masterplan, officially launched in 2008 by Secretary of State (BERR) John Hutton, is described as a package of West Cumbrian regeneration projects which will advance the existing strengths in the nuclear industry as ‘a springboard for diversifying into other forms of low carbon industries such as renewable energy’.
CORE spokesman Martin Forwood said today: The truth is out. This so called springboard is clearly programmed to spring in one direction only – towards nuclear and away from renewables. It beggars belief that at a time when wind power has never been more vital to the UK, a viable wind farm is to be sacrificed on the altar of nuclear power. It also exposes the duplicity of RWE who have previously claimed that it was a myth that new build will detract from the construction of renewables, and shows up the Energy Coast plan for the pro-nuclear sham that it really is.
The Haverigg wind farm, in operation since 1992 consists of eight turbines, six of which fall within the proposed Kirksanton nuclear power station footprint. The remaining two turbines lie adjacent to the proposed site boundary. One of the more recent turbines is owned by a community co-operative and operaes for the direct benefit of local community investors.
The prime movers and shakers of the Energy Coast Plan include local MP’s Jamie Reed and Tony Cunningham, Sellafield Ltd and its owners The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, West Lakes Renaissance, Cumbria Vision and the University’s of Cumbria, Central Lancashire and Lancaster.