Three nuclear safety campaigners from Somerset have each been fined £300 for their ‘criminal’ actions in highlighting the far greater nuclear crimes by the industry.
The Morning Star has this report:
MAGISTRATES imposed £300 fines yesterday against three Bristol women for blockading the road to nearby high-risk nuclear power station Hinkley Point.
Care worker Ornella Saibene, grandmother Caroline Hope and retired nurse Marian Connolly appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court where they chose to plead guilty to avoid much larger penalties and costs.
The court refused to set repayments any lower than £10 a week even after they heard the trio were on low incomes, they told the Star. They are considering whether to lodge an appeal over the convictions.
The women, who are members of South West Against Nuclear, Nuclear Free Bristol and Bristol CND, chained themselves together across the road to Hinkley B station in Somerset on April 1.
A huge tailback of vehicles formed, preventing works from being carried out to the plant and a proposed new site called Hinkley C. But there was another road that could have been used to reach it, Ms Saibene said.
Site owner EDF claimed the protest cost it £715,000.
Hinkley B power station was originally meant to be decommissioned in 2006, but this was delayed, first to 2016 and then to at least 2023.
Independent nuclear engineer John Large said the plant’s graphite core is “extensively cracked” and continuing to run it is “gambling with public safety.”
If a nuclear disaster were to happen at the site, around an hour away from the women’s neighbourhoods, their families and homes would be some of the first to be affected.
Bristol City Council confirmed that it had no safeguards in place if the nuclear plant causes an environmental crisis, Ms Connolly told the Star.
“This is the stuff of nightmares,” the three activists wrote in a statement.
Ms Saibene said: “It is gobsmackingly incredible that British power station workers don’t seem to want to know the reality about nuclear that puts citizens and workers in danger.”
And it’s not just British environmental campaigners who are fighting against what they say is a massive risk to public health.
Nuclear workers at EDF’s Cruas plant in southern France went on a 10-day hunger strike recently to blow blew the whistle over abuse and conditions amounting to “modern slavery” that drove 15 colleagues to suicide, Ms Saibene added.