Protesters arrested at EDF power station in West Burton
West Burton EDF power station protesters arrested
The protesters climbed two of the cooling towers in West Burton earlier
29 October 2012 Last updated at 16:11
Five climate change protesters have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at an EDF power station in Nottinghamshire.
Sixteen more protesters remain on the site after climbing on cooling towers at the West Burton plant on the Lincolnshire border.
Police said the protesters “climbed the water towers and… secured themselves to restrict their removal”.
An EDF spokesman said energy supplies were not affected by the protest.
It is understood up to 200 staff may have been sent home.
The No Dash for Gas protesters said they planned to stay on the site for a week to show their opposition to gas-fired plants which they said were polluting and expensive.
EDF is constructing a three-unit gas-fired turbine next to its existing coal-fired plant which will produce enough electricity to supply more than a million homes.
The protesters climbed the towers at the gas turbine plant, which is expected to open later this year.
A police spokesman said: “Negotiations have begun to encourage the protesters to end their demonstration.”
The cost of policing the protest will reach £200,000 if the protesters stay on the site until next week, the spokesman said.
The five people arrested – all women from either Manchester or Leeds – were being questioned, he added.
One protester named Ewa, speaking from one of the cooling towers, said: “We need a shift – we need to change to renewables.
“Drastic action does need to be taken to get this government to perform a u-turn – which is one towards renewables.
“We are peaceful protesters who know exactly where we are – we will be surrendering ourselves to police after a week’s time which is when our supplies run out.”
EDF spokesman Gordon Bell said: “We support the right to peaceful protest. However, any unlawful action is of serious concern and puts at risk the safety of the individuals involved.
“EDF Energy is committed to a low-carbon future through new generation and increased energy efficiency.
“Alongside our new gas plant at West Burton, new nuclear and renewables are major elements in our future generation plans.”
Steve Pryle, from the GMB union, said: “All our members have been sent home. We were told approximately 200 of our members have been sent home.”