October 3, 2011 / 11:31 AM / 8 years ago

UK nuclear plant works on during protest

* Police arrest man in his 40s for knife possession

* Protesters say have sealed off entry to nuclear plant

* Protesters oppose nuclear new build plans

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Two reactors at EDF Energy’s UK Hinkley Point nuclear power plant continued operating as normal on Monday, while one man was arrested during anti-nuclear protests at the site which blocked access to the nuclear plant, the operator and local police said.

“The station continues to operate normally with appropriate staffing levels on site,” a spokesman for EDF Energy said, adding that police estimate around 100 protesters were outside the plant, which houses two 480-megawatt nuclear reactors, on Monday morning.

Police arrested a man in his forties during the protests for possession of a knife and he remained in custody at midday on Monday.

A spokeswoman for the demonstration oragnisers said the man was part of the protests and was arrested on a footpath near the nuclear plant after police found he was carrying a knife with a long blade.

Protesters on Monday blocked the entrance to the site in opposition against plans to build new reactors in Britain and protests are planned to continue throughout the day, she said.

EDF Energy plans to build two new 1,600-MW nuclear reactors at its Hinkley Point nuclear plant.

Early site preparation work for the first reactor has already started and the nuclear operator is preparing its permit application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Britain plans to build a series of new nuclear power plants by 2025 to help reduce carbon emissions. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps)

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