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Hinkley fish deterrent farce makes mockery of Environment Agency and Minister 28 Apr 23

In a humiliating climbdown, the Environment Agency now recommend that EDF Energy be excused from installing an acoustic fish deterrent at Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, and they have had the cheek to ask for the public’s endorsement of the Agency’s inexplicable volte face in a further consultation.

The UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities for one will not be giving it.

NFLA England Forum Chair Councillor David Blackburn said: “After a late hour supper of humble lamprey pie, senior executives at the Environment Agency appear to have shown themselves to have less spine than jellyfish. The requirement to install a deterrent was first made after representations from the public and campaign groups, including the NFLA; a detailed analysis of the impact of the plant on fish stocks and pain-staking deliberations; and the personal intercession of the Secretary of State George Eustice to ensure that it became part of the permitting conditions.

“This new recommendation makes a mockery of the Environment Agency inspection team and the Secretary of State who previously had the courage to stand up to nuclear interests. It also represents a massive slap in the face with a wet kipper for public consultation, because what is the point responding again and again to consultations and presenting to inquiries demonstrating conclusively the validity of your case when senior civil servants simply cave into any clamour from EDF Energy?”

Nonetheless, the NFLA, in a last-ditch effort, will be joining local campaigners by responding robustly to oppose this proposal – for the sake of the fish.

Councillor Blackburn added: “It looks like someone at EDF Energy is following the adage of Robert the Bruce ‘to try, try, try again’ as clearly the company remains determined to pressurise the Environment Agency to recuse it from installing an acoustic fish deterrent at Hinkley Point C to save time and money, for this is a project well behind schedule and massively over budget. French shareholders will be happy, but the fish will not.

“The Severn Estuary is one of the most important fish habitats in the UK, and the fear is that millions of fish will die every day once this plant finally becomes operational as they are sucked to their deaths along with the cooling water.

“We would urge members of the public, elected members and local groups opposed to this plan to respond to the Environment Agency consultation before 25 May 2023. This is your last chance to save the fish!”

Details of the latest Environment Agency consultation can be found at:


May 1, 2023 - Posted by | oceans, UK

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