Bute councillor’s Hunterston concerns backed

A Bute councillor’s alarm over the possible life-extension of the Hunterston nuclear power facility in north Ayrshire has been backed by his local colleagues.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee voted to back Councillor Len Scoullar’s motion calling on the full council to “object in the strongest possible terms” to any proposal to extend the operating life of the Hunterston B facility until 2033.

Councillor Scoullar’s motion received five votes at Tuesday’s area committee meeting in Dunoon, while an SNP amendment, similar in tone but replacing the strong objections with a recommendation to hold discussions with ministers, received only three votes.

The motion, in full, reads as follows.

“Following the news recently released that the Scottish Government intends to permit the lives of two ageing nuclear power station to be prolonged until 2033, Bute and Cowal Area Committee recommends to Argyll and Bute Council that it...

“Notes the grave concerns that:

(a) An expert report published very recently by the ten strong group of Nuclear Free Scottish Councils (N.F.S.C), says that Ministers are wrong to allow Torness and Hunterston to continue running for two more decades.

(b) Hunterston B station is already older than most of the reactors which were closed by the German Government, following the Fukushima disaster last year.

(c) The German Government intends that usage economies will cut demand there for electricity by ten percent to meet these closures, while in Scotland we are expecting a rise in usage of ten percent.

(d) The author of the report Pete Roche, who is an expert policy advisor to the (N.F.S.C), warns that ‘Milking Scottish reactors dry is another way of maximising the chances of an accident as these reactors get older and more decrepit’.

“Recommends that the Council:

(a) Acknowledges the potential future danger from an ageing Hunterston B, as indicated in the expert report, to the people of Argyll and Bute, especially Bute and Cowal which are only six and ten miles distant, respectively.

(b) Expresses its deep concerns on the potential future adverse health implications for the people of Bute and Cowal in particular and Argyll and Bute also Scotland generally.

(c) Agrees to object in the strongest possible terms to the Scottish Government and to represent those terms to the First Minister Alex Salmond.”