The Energy Secretary Ed Davey has hinted that a new deal to build a reactor at Hinkley Point is close. Speaking at the weekend he said that Britain's energy sector was set to benefit from billions of pounds of investment from the Far East.
Mr Davey said "The Chinese, along with the Japanese and the Koreans are very interested in the opportunities in the British nuclear sector. I think it is really possible we will see massive Chinese investment".
Recent reports have suggested that the Chinese are set to take a stake in the consortium seeking to build the new reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset
On the positive side, we will now have the 35 meter high T-Pylons rather than the proposed 50 meter high standard pylons and more towers will be removed than will be erected. Existing lines in Nailsea will be removed to the great benefit of local residents and one line will be removed on Tickenham Ridge. Moving the line of pylons away from houses and schools in West Nailsea is another positive development. I am also pleased that the original route to take the transmission line away from Portbury has been reinstated.
However, despite the adoption of the T-Pylons (which have never been used anywhere in Britain) the overhead technology remains rooted in the past and other, new, technologies such as GIL (Gas Insulated Lines) have not been fully considered. The impact on the environment is still greater than widespread undergrounding would achieve but significantly better than the original horror of the 50 meter towers. In particular, the issue of Tickenham Ridge has not been properly resolved.
The route electricity will take as it's carried from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been revealed.
It'll mean around 140 new pylons will be put up along a route stretching 34 miles across Somerset.
But the National Grid says it'll bury some of the new cable underground and the new pylons will cause less disruption to the countryside.
But those who've protested over the issue say they're not being heard.
John Bevir reports:
Whatever your views on the power lines from Hinkley Point C, whether like me, you believe beautiful Somerset shouldn’t be spoiled by unnecessary Pylons or not, this is the consultation to respond to; your responses will be seen by the planning inspector and will in the end make a difference to our countryside.
It is vitally important that we take this opportunity to tell National Grid what we want, whether that is under-sea, under-ground or over-ground. Importantly, we must tell them why their proposals are wrong or right for our area. You do not need to understand or go into the technical details of the plans; you simply need to give your thoughts.”
Each household will receive a copy of the National Grid ‘Project News’ and a disc with all the information about the project on it. Hard copies of all the information can be picked up at the National Grid information point in Mark Village Hall.
Tessa has also asked for paper copies to be put in her office in Wedmore.
There will also be a public Q&A session on Saturday 21st September in Mark Village Hall.
An exhibition will be held from 9:30am to 2:30pm and the Q&A will follow on after from 3:00pm to 4:30pm.
More than 40,000 properties between Bridgwater and Avonmouth have received information about National Grid's proposed plans.
The 400,000 volt electricity lines will connect the West Country for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley.
Although the Government approved the Hinkley C power station project in March 2013 no agreement has been reached with the developers and progress has now stalled. We can’t understand why National Grid is rushing ahead with this connection scheme. There is no timetable for the power plant. If they stopped and took a breath they could take account of other technologies that exist or are emerging.”
The Liberal Democrat MP for Wells Tessa Munt has urged her constituents to take part in National Grid's latest consultation on its proposed electricity lines for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley.
In a statement, she said "Whatever your views on the power lines from Hinkley Point C, this is the consultation to respond to; your responses will be seen by the planning inspector and will in the end make a difference to our countryside.”
The change in arrangements made for major infrastructure projects like this requires promoters to listen to people’s views and to be prepared to modify their scheme. People are very disappointed that National Grid has not prepared to listen to the views of the communities that will be so badly affected.”
“Since 2009 when this scheme was first announced, people in Somerset have been outraged that National Grid thinks that this outdated technology is acceptable throughout the beautiful countryside of Somerset and North Somerset. They fully understand that burying the power cables will cost more but it’s a price they are very willing to pay to protect our countryside for future generations to enjoy.
National Grid still have not provided sufficient information to justify their choice of an overhead line and they need to consider other methods, such as an underground cable or preferably a sub-sea connection”.