OUTRAGED campaigners staged a protest against proposals to allow Chinese investors to build a new nuclear power station at Bradwell.

A flotilla of boats took to the water as Mersea and Maldon residents joined forces with action groups Bradfield Against New Nuclear and the Friends of Bradwell, following two weeks of planning.

Hundreds attended the protest opposite the power station, raising banners and donning radiation suits.

Campaigners fear the new nuclear station could harm wildlife in the Blackwater estuary and damage the fishing industry.

They are also concerned about the safety of people living close to the site.

Anthony Bailey, of St Peter’s Road, Mersea, said: “It’s an absolutely idiotic place to build a reactor.

“It’s not just about harm to fishing, this is a prototype not seen before, so there are questions over overall safety.”

Steve Ford, a member of the local Green Party, said: “We are hugely supportive of the protest.

You’ve got to understand what it means to these people.

“Everything you read about what is proposed is concerning.

“We should be investing so much money in alternative means of energy.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to Britain this month for talks over a potential £2billion deal for stations at Bradwell and Hinkley Point, in Somerset.

The nuclear power station would potentially be capable of producing enough electricity to power one million homes, and would be the first Chinesedesigned and operated facility in the Western world.

Graham Farley, from the Mersea Island Environmental Alliance, said: “Blackwater and the surrounding area is home to 19 protected sites and it’s an area of outstanding natural beauty.

“It is simply not good enough that Government has short cut the proper processes to allow big business to get rid of this nuclear waste through this experimental process.”