How will fish be protected at Hinkley Point C?

The government seeks views on the nuclear power station’s fish protection measures

Big Zero Report 2022

Somerset residents have been invited to share their views on plans to change the way fish are protected at Hinkley Point C, a nuclear power plant which is being constructed by energy giant EDF.

The government’s Environment Agency (EA) has launched a four-week consultation on a proposed change to discharge sea water and fish at the nuclear power plant.

In the last couple of years, activist groups have campaigned against EDF’s decision to remove Acoustic Fish Deterrents (AFD) on the cooling water intakes at the nuclear power station.

Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Katy Attwater said: “It looks to us very much like the EA is being forced to to make a decision which conservation groups fear will result in the death of millions of fish every day.

“The Severn estuary supports some of the most important and protected habitats in the UK, EDF appears to be absolutely determined not to spend the money to install AFD’s and is pressurising the Agency into backing down. This change would be disastrous for the Severn estuary and all the fish species it supports, to breed and travel into its tributaries, nine of the greatest rivers of England and Wales.”

Chris Fayers, Head of Environment for Hinkley Point C, said: “EDF has decades of experience and data gained from taking cooling water from the Bristol Channel, which shows the activity has an insignificant impact on protected species. In addition, Hinkley Point C will be the first power station in the area to be built with fish protection measures in place.

“EDF is working with the EA, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales to develop a proportionate and robust compensation package to mitigate any impact.

“Alongside working on compensation, we are seeking a permit variation to avoid duplicate regulation, which will be consulted on by the EA.

“Reaching an agreement is essential for the delivery of this vital piece of national infrastructure.”

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