Definite "NO" Wylfa B

by Carol
(Porthmadog, Gwynedd)

This planet is not stable. It is cooling and contracting, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes is possible.

Nuclear power plants can never be considered safe. Nuclear power is dirty, pollutive and expensive in all its stages.

Then there is the building and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the protection of material from theft for nuclear weapons, to the treatment and respite holidays for children sick from radiation (see Chernobyl Children's Project aid leaflet).

Here is an interesting thought about nuclear power:

Myth:  Nuclear power is carbon-neutral
One of the big pro-nuclear arguments is that, in the face of the threat of global climate change, it is "carbon neutral".  This couldn't be further from the truth.

Tons and tons of CO2 are produced during all stages - the building of the reactor, the sourcing and mining and transport of uranium, the transport round the entire globe of nuclear waste to either be reprocessed or dumped, and the demolition of nuclear power plants after only a few years and the disposal of the radioactive components.

These are just the DIRECT causes of CO2 emissions.

The INDIRECT causes are far greater, more far-reaching and more tragic in human terms.  The Chernobyl explosion happened 24 years ago and EVER SINCE THEN thousands of lorries have shuttled back and forward between western Europe and the Ukraine.  The number of kilometers and amount of fuel used is ASTRONOMICAL.

 (excerpt from Chernobyl aid leaflet:  "Each year for over 10 years (now over 20 YEARS) we have been taking aid on four convoys, each of 3 or 4 trucks, making a huge difference to the lives of children, many disabled, and their families who cope with the additional problem of poverty.

Our journey is by ferry from Hull to Rotterdam and then by road some 1500 miles across Holland, Germany, Poland and Belarus").

N.B. let's pause and do the maths here: 1500 (miles) x 4 (trucks) x 2 (return journey) x 4 (convoys per year) = 48,000 MILES PER YEAR or OVER 1 MILLION (1,152,000) MILES since the accident happened.

And that is just from the UK - there are similar programmes in Germany (I myself took in a mother and her 2 children for 1 month's respite) and probably other  European countries.  Now tell me nuclear power is carbon neutral!! Although indirect, this is the TRUE COST of nuclear power.

Editor's note: Thanks Carol for your contribution. Inevitably, with the need to consider our energy security, the use of nuclear power will come into the equation.

As you will probably be aware, the UK has now become a net importer of gas and so the focus on energy security is now far more urgent.

When we combine the need to achieve a balanced energy strategy as well as the obligations to meet tough long term carbon emission reductions, as part of the global effort to tackle climate change, it is inevitable that nuclear, which is the only source of low carbon, baseload supply available, will be considered in the energy mix.

While there is support for the growing use of renewables such as tidal, wave, biomass, solar and wind, clearly the maths don't stack up when old coal and nuclear plants have to be retired over the next decade.

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Comments for Definite "NO" Wylfa B

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May 04, 2011
by: Anonymous

An Ynys Mon local councillor suggested that we might need to choose between nuclear power, wind turbines and switching more lights off. I am inclined to agree that we need to wait for the report, but also consider that making nuclear power safe might be a lot more costly than has been anticipated, and that the second and third options are probably marginally safer and cheaper

Apr 26, 2011
wait for the report
by: Steve

With regard to the recent events at Fukushima, you will probably be aware that Dr Mike Weightman, the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector, is conducting a thorough investigation into the use of nuclear power for the UK.

Expect the findings will influence the two resctor designs being developed by Toshiba Westinghouse (AP1000) and Areva (European EPR), which have to be submitted to the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process as part of the new nuclear build project.

It is probably best to wait for the outcome of the findings of the Weightman Report before speculating on the various potential risks of using nuclear energy to produce electricity.

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