Four people have been arrested after protesters blockaded access to the nuclear site at Hinkley Point in Bridgwater this morning [Friday].
Ten protesters paraded a banner saying "Nuclear Power - not worth the risk" and attempted to block access to staff to prevent further ground clearance work at the site.
If EDF, the energy company behind the plan, gets the go ahead to build it, the plant could be open by 2020.
– Zoe Smith, Protester
We want the destruction of land at the proposed Hinkley C site to stop. EDF still don't have planning permission for the new nuclear plant, the governments energy policy is in tatters. With Centrica pulling out and the long awaited Electricity Reform Act delayed, there is not even enough investment to finish the project. If the tories fix the electricity price for nuclear so that the project can go ahead it will leave a radioactive waste
dump here for hundreds of years.
The early morning blockade caused long tailbacks for scores of workers contracted in to perform maintenance work on the the existing reactors at Hinkley B.
EDF have signalled their intention to re-licence the reactor again in 2016.
– EDF Energy Media Statement
We respect the rights of individuals to peaceful and lawful protest, however, we are also mindful of the pressure these events can place on the local community with whom we have strong links.
The safety and security of all our nuclear sites is our overriding priority. We believe strongly that low-carbon nuclear has a vital role in maintaining UK electricity supplies in the future. As the Government has said, the UK continues to need new nuclear power. We also greatly appreciate the support of the large majority of local residents who recognise the contribution we make to the area and the benefits that a new power station would bring to Somerset.
Hinkley Point B continues to generate enough low carbon electricity for around one million homes each year, and employs more than 500 people plus an additional 200 permanent contractors.
Hinkley Point C is expected to generate a £100 million annual boost to the South West economy during construction and provide up to 25,000 jobs.
Four people were arrested for wilfully obstructing the highway.