The most dangerous decision of our generation

by David McCann
(Porthaethwy, Ynys Mon)

In a world that is growing more dangerous politically and environmentally, should we really be investing in dangerous technologies?


The argument that the new generation of nuclear power plants is safer is not the argument that comes with their specifications – they are designed to be cheaper, not safer.

The increased enrichment of uranium that is required for these new plants creates the most volatile nuclear fuel to date.

Labour will have us believe that we are at war with terror. Yet at the same time we are made to believe that there is no chance of violent action on either a nuclear power facility or the transport methods for spent fuel.

I put a question to you – what is the difference between a bombed wind farm and a bombed nuclear plant?

The argument that alternative renewables are expensive is valid – but only at present. If all investment was placed into renewables rather than nuclear energy the price tag will drop – it’s a rule of capital investment.

And what people often forget is that nuclear may be ‘cheap’ while you burn the fuel, but once you’re faced with what to do with it afterwards there is no published price tag. Why? Because in the UK we have no idea what to do with the stuff.

Which is why fuel from Sellafield has to be transported to France by container ship for disposal and post processing. A trip which is conducted in a vessel class which has been known to overturn more than enough in the past and which will be passing Welsh shores in the next few months.

As the fuel is probably in a powdered form if there is a leak, or worse a spillage, the stuff will sink to the sea bed. The powder will then be re-worked into coastal sediments and slowly transported around the North Wales coastline. The result? There is no need for an answer.

Pro-nuclear campaigners have no answers for how we would even begin to try to clean up nuclear waste if it ever was spilt.

The argument of job loss is frankly a side issue made to look like the key problem with Wylfa by Labour MPs. More jobs will be secured decommissioning Wylfa than building a new one.

Anglesey Aluminium operated just fine in the late 80’s when Wylfa was offline for 18 months – A.A. will not close if it looses its nuclear plant, they will just loose the discount they get on energy. A discount that could be gained back by running the plant on renewables.

I am willing to pay more to develop Anglesey for more jobs and pay more for renewables. The reason they call it ‘clean energy’ is nothing to do with ‘carbon footprints’ – its because it's not toxic.

Nuclear power is just too darn dangerous. Can we be so irresponsible as to choose an easy way out for ourselves while future generations have no choice but to deal with nuclear waste?

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Comments for The most dangerous decision of our generation

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Sep 17, 2009
Wylfa Security
by: Wil Bach

The difference between bombing a windfarm and bombing a nuclear power station such as Wylfa is that it would be extremely difficult to get past security at a nuclear power station! Not so at a windfarm...

May 26, 2009
More jobs decommissioning Wylfa A
by: Simon

I'm not sure if this is correct, as I seem to remember that the numbers involved in the decommissioning would be a few hundred, whereas for a new reactor you're talking up to 9,000 contractors during the construction phase.

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