REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 331

Revolt news 23/06/2011 Print (pdf) Version

1. Caroline Paterson reports: June 17th – BBC Scotland – Beauly to Denny costs have almost doubled since 2004 – now stand at 600m – without any undergrounding!

2. National Grid website points out that mobile phone EMF, which is basically radio-frequency (RF), nevertheless can contain substantial fields (very close to the phone) in the power-frequency region (ELF), due to energy pulsing. Now both types of exposure are recognised by IARC as class 2B possible carcinogens.

3. My third response to the NG Consultation on Undergrounding (which closes 4 July) was made 20 June 2011. It adds to the response made 2 Jan 2011 (with my KEMA review response) and 13 Feb 2011 (with my DECC Energy NPS response). The 20 June response includes a draft policy paragraph for NG as at APPENDIX A below. I am aware that many objectors would wish to go much further and call for complete undergrounding of all future lines, and I said so. I also drew attention to the need to consider worst-case existing overhead lines.

4. My response to NG included “At present it seems that NG presents itself as implacably opposed to undergrounding under any circumstances”. NG has published a recent statement on undergrounding in mid-Wales: “The route corridors we brought forward for the first phase of public consultation allow for the connection to be made by overhead lines, underground cables or a combination of the two. This enables us to arrive at the best overall solution once we have taken into account consultation responses alongside our statutory duties, and socio-economic and environmental considerations.” Let’s hope this is a sign of improvement, yet ultimately actions would speak louder than words.

5. Northern Ireland group SEAT has announced that a brief update meeting on the campaign so far is to be held for the communities of Moy, Benburb, Blackwatertown and Tullysaran on Tuesday 28th June at 9pm in Moy Methodist Hall.  Similar meetings will be held along the route for other affected communities during the summer. Everyone welcome! Please let your neighbours know!  Bring a friend along! 

6. The establishment has zealously fought against accepting that human magneto-reception (ability to detect magnetic fields) should even be possible at the low levels of environmental fields, using overly simplistic arguments to suggest that all primary bio-physical mechanisms must be implausible. Meanwhile, animal navigation studies have advanced prolifically in exploring biophysical mechanisms that work in a large variety of species at even lower field levels. There was always a prospect that evolution has left humans with similar sensitivity, even if dormant. A key biophysical receptor, cryptochrome, is ubiquitous in animals and humans. Now it has been shown that human cryptochrome, when transferred to animals, also works as a primary magneto-receptor. See “human eye protein senses Earth’s magnetism”:

7. From Powerwatch: People who started their mobile phone use when aged less than 20 had almost a 5-fold increased risk of developing a brain tumour, a new Hardell study shows. Also, following the IARC classification of RF as a possible human carcinogen, mobile telecoms industry shares have taken a significant fall. One class action has already been filed in Israel.

8. DECC email newsletter today says: The Government today (23rd June) published its finalised National Policy Statements for energy (NPSs) in advance of a debate in Parliament.  This follows an extensive public consultation earlier this year which received over two and a half thousand responses, Parliamentary Scrutiny of the revised draft energy national policy statement, and the outputs of the interim report of the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, on lessons to be learned from events at Fukushima.

9. Copies of the final NPSs and associated documents and consultation responses are at The newsletter says “The Government’s final proposed energy NPSs will be debated in Parliament and voted on. If approved we intend to designate as soon as possible afterwards.” Revolt and other consultees will be looking at the NPSs with a view to making any final representations to MPs. Responses from readers of this newsletter would be welcome.

10. We’ve already heard from Paul Hipwell (No Moor Pylons / Hinkley Point) who makes three positive observations: EN5 now accepts that overhead will not always be the right solution  The statements about under grounding being 10 to 20 times as expensive have been removed  EN5 now makes clear that the Holford rules must be followed ( a key request from CPRE)


APPENDIX A Policy paragraph suggestion for NGC consultation

NG recognises that partial or full underground cable (UGC) may often be a technically feasible but relatively expensive alternative to overhead line (OHL), depending on the specific circumstances. Therefore UGC is not an option which NG would normally unilaterally volunteer, given its statutory duties and commitments to shareholders. The assessment of impacts such as visual (dis)amenity and health concerns is undertaken by appointed professionals in an Environmental Impact Assessment, but this assessment does not go as far as deciding when UGC should be adopted since that is a policy decision. Such decisions have been made by Secretary of State on advice of inspectors following public inquiries and will be through the new IPC processes with guidance from National Policy Statements. The additional costs, if any, of UGC should be borne either by interested parties such as developers and landowners, where they require it, or by consumers through regulation. Consequently NG will not have a direct financial interest in the outcome of the decision and can welcome the outcome whatever it may be. NG will serve the decision making process by providing transparent and impartial technical information in open consultation. In order to reduce case-by-case argument, on the above basis NG would accept a general planning presumption in favour of some UGC, limited in relation to line length and/or project cost, provided this was decided independently in the public interest.


Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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