Anti-nuclear Movement in the United Kingdom

From Nuclear Heritage
Jump to navigationJump to search

Upcoming Events

  • ...

In January 2008 the UK government announced plans to build new nuclear power stations, and the anti-nuclear movement in the United Kingdom has voiced concerns. There are also public concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Many different groups and individuals have been involved in demonstrations and protests over the years. The Nuclear Contribution to Climate Change in the UK is much higher than thought because of the HFC emissions of the nuclear plant in Sellafield.

Latest Developments

The British government plans the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK. The Infrastructure Planning Commission project list[1] includes::

  • Hinkley C, Somerset (EDF) - 2 Aug 2010
    • Rolls-Royce signed in January 2019 a contract to provide backup power for Hinkley C (4 x 3,600 kW)[2]
  • Sizewell C, Suffolk (EDF) - 1 Jun 2011
  • Sizewell C connector, Bramford to Twinstead, 26km overhead line - 1 Jun 2011
  • Hinkley Point connector, Bridgwater to Seabank, 60km overhead line - 1 Aug 2011
  • Wylfa, Anglesey (Horizon = E.ON + RWE npower) - 1 Nov 2011
  • Oldbury, Gloucestershire (Horizon = E.ON + RWE npower) - 1 Nov 2011


In 1976, the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution found that it would be "morally wrong" to make a major commitment to nuclear power without first demonstrating a safe way of isolating radioactive waste. Yet the UK is about to embark on a programme to build at least 10 new reactors while still lacking a disposal site for waste from the past 50 years. According to a New Scientist report, spent fuel from the new reactors will be far more radioactive than existing waste.[3][4]

Specific groups

One of the most prominent and long-standing anti-nuclear groups in the UK is the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which marked its 50th anniversary in February 2008. CND campaigns for nuclear disarmament by the UK and all countries and tighter international regulation through treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is currently pressuring the British government to abandon its plans to replace its submarine-based Trident nuclear missile system and commit to global abolition by signing up to a Nuclear Weapons Convention. CND is also opposed to new nuclear power stations being built in the UK. Historically, the group is particularly remembered for its Aldermaston Marches.

Other anti-nuclear groups in the UK include:

Major political parties clearly in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament:

  • Green Party of England & Wales
  • Green Party of Northern Ireland
  • Scottish Green Party
  • Scottish Nationalist Party

Major political parties clearly opposed to new nuclear power plants:


In 2008, several prominent UK academics spoke out against the government's proposal to build a new generation of nuclear power plants:[6][7]

  • Frank Barnaby
  • Paul Dorfman
  • David Elliott
  • Kate Hudson
  • Jerome Ravetz
  • Andy Stirling
  • Stephen Thomas
  • Gordon Walker

Other individuals

  • Damon Albarn
  • Pat Arrowsmith
  • Meg Beresford
  • Janet Bloomfield
  • Canon John Collins
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Peggy Duff
  • David Fleming
  • Martin Forwood[8]
  • Olive Gibbs
  • Ali Hewson
  • Hugh Jenkins
  • Paul Johns
  • Rosie Kane
  • Bruce Kent
  • Marghanita Laski
  • David Lowry
  • Jean McSorley
  • Pete Roche
  • Joan Ruddock
  • Marjorie Thompson
  • Walter Wolfgang
  • Angie Zelter

Short Infos

Some past events

See also


  2. as of 5 March 2019
  3. Editorial: Nuclear industry must not forget past lessons
  4. Nuclear super-fuel gets too hot to handle
  5. 5.0 5.1 For protection against automatical email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol.
  6. Scientists take on Brown over nuclear plans
  7. Nuclear Consultation: Public Trust in Government
  8. Fears over nuclear waste transport plan

External links