Woman charged over Sizewell protest

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
3:46 AM

A woman was charged with obstructing a highway after officers broke up an anti-nuclear demonstration outside Sizewell B power station.

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Protesters set up a blockade at 6.45am yesterday morning in protest against Government plans for nuclear expansion and the construction of a new facility at the site near Leiston.

Specialist police cutting teams moved in six hours later to break up a human chain of four protesters blocking the entrance to the plant.

Four women were arrested at the scene. Last night, police said a 23-year-old woman from Plymouth had been charged and will now appear at North East Suffolk Magistrates Court on December 27.

A 37-year-old woman from Bridgwater in Somerset, a 38-year-old woman from Norwich and a 41-year-old woman from Geldeston, near Beccles, were all arrested on suspicion of obstructing a highway and released with a caution.

A spokesman for the protesters had earlier claimed that the 11-week consultation period was not long enough to consider 342 pages of proposal documents for Sizewell C, calling it “a sham process which is nothing more than a cynical box-ticking exercise”.

Sizewell B’s station director, Jim Crawford, responded to the protest by saying low-carbon nuclear had a vital role in maintaining UK electricity supplies in the future. He added: “As the Government has said, the UK continues to need new nuclear power.”

EDF began consultation on proposals last week. On Friday, a dawn blockade was also set up at the firm’s Hinkley Point plant in Somerset, where the firm is bidding to build another nuclear plant.

Over the next 11 weeks EDF will be consult on its initial proposals for the Sizewell C development, which it says would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain and would create local training and employment opportunities.

The proposed Sizewell C site would have two reactors, known as EPRs, capable of generating enough electricity to supply around five million homes. EDF says it could produce low-carbon electricity for 60 years.

Construction of a new nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast, immediately to the north of Sizewell B, has been accepted in principle by government.

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