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Villagers to vote on shutting N-plant

PUBLISHED: 05:35 24 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

By David Green

VILLAGERS are to get the chance to vote on motions urging the Government to close down the Sizewell nuclear power stations and to extend the emergency zone around the site – because of fears of a terrorist attack.

By David Green

VILLAGERS are to get the chance to vote on motions urging the Government to close down the Sizewell nuclear power stations and to extend the emergency zone around the site – because of fears of a terrorist attack.

Dunwich Parish Meeting's nuclear power stations committee met on Saturday to decide whether to put two motions from local electors to a full meeting of the village inhabitants.

The moves followed the Prime Minister' New Year's message warning Britain to be prepared for possible terrorist attacks and fears that Sizewell could be a target.

The most controversial motion, urging the Government to close Sizewell A and B, was approved by a 7-6 vote.

It was put forward by Charles and Mary Barnett, who live in Dunwich and are prominent anti-nuclear campaigners. They had failed in an attempt to get the issue debated at the last Dunwich Parish Meeting when it was referred to the committee.

Mr and Mrs Barnett pointed to the danger of a terrorist attack on the nuclear site and the release of a deadly cloud of radioactivity.

Opponents claimed closure of the two Sizewell powers stations would endanger the security of electricity supply and added the shortfall could currently not be made up by renewable energies, including wind power.

Speaking after the vote in favour of putting the motion to a full parish meeting, Mr Barnett said: "I am delighted. We believe Dunwich is in its greatest danger since the Second World War."

He added recently-released Government documents had exposed the inadequacy of emergency planning.

"A top-level exercise carried out last year to simulate the outcome of a jumbo jet crashing into a nuclear power station ended in high farce," said Mr Barnett.

The second motion, put forward by Lady Parks, for the emergency zone around the nuclear site to be extended to a radius of six miles, was approved unanimously.

The existing zone has a radius of 1.5 miles and covers only a few hundred people in the hamlet of Sizewell and on the outskirts of Leiston.

Extending the zone to a radius of six miles would encompass Dunwich and other villages and could mean the residents were issued in advance with potassium iodate tablets – which can help the body to resist the absorption of radioactivity through the thyroid gland.

The date of the next Dunwich Parish Meeting has not yet been fixed.

david.green@eadt.co.uk


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