Wylfa Power Station: Is nuclear the future for Anglesey?

by TommyM
(Holyhead)

The question has to be asked, are we willing to risk the future of our Island? Whilst many might argue the risks of a large Earthquake or a tsunami affecting Anglesey are very low, accidents can and do happen.


The current crisis in Fukushima, Japan has been caused by the failure of the power supply to the reactor cooling pumps.

The same failure could happen at Wylfa Power Station at Cemaes. Even those who argue the risks from radiation are negligable cannot deny that in the event of an incident at Wylfa, the effects of any release of radiation from the site would have a catastrophic effect on the Island's economy.

What would a 30 mile exclusion zone do to our Island? A whole population displaced, our farming community destroyed, our tourist industry anilahted and a major transportation hub, the port of Holyhead, closed down.

We have clean energy alternatives. so why not develop them? The potential for wind and tidal power of our Island is huge.

It is a disgrace that the Plaid leader does not follow the views of his own Party on Nuclear energy and our Labour MP's views differ to those of the Welsh Labour party.

And why? Some foolish notation that a new power station at Wylfa means jobs. We can already see that this is not the case, a token effort has been made at some pretence of training courses for local people. Scratch beneath the surface and you will find the truth.

A news article today revealed that the Ukraine has issued an international plea for millions of pounds of funding to help rebuild the sarcophagus of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor amid warnings that the decrepit state of the current one could cause it to collapse and release a cloud of radioactive dust.

Pripyat was once home to 50,000 people, but since the incident in 1986 at Chernobyl it has remained abandoned. That could be the future of Anglesey in years to come.

Thanks for your contribution TommyM. Clearly, the events in Japan are dreadful and I am sure we all hope the Japanese authorities can stabilise the incident at Fukushima as soon as possible.

We should, however, step back and reflect before making connections between Chernobyl and Fukushkima, and in turn suggest a similar eventuality occuring at Wylfa on Anglesey.

There are numerous differences between the incident in Ukraine and the current situation in Japan.

There would be huge benefits for the local economy arising from the construction of Wylfa B nuclear plant on the island by Horizon, the E.ON and RWE Npower joint venture.

We now need to wait for the outcome of the review being undertaken by Dr Mike Weightman, the Chief UK Nuclear Inspector, before jumping to any sudden conclusions.


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Comments for Wylfa Power Station: Is nuclear the future for Anglesey?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 15, 2012
Are Nuclear Power Stations Built for the benefit of the local Community?
by: Will

The straight answer is that Generating Companies build power stations to make money. The benefits to local communities, although a consideration, is well down their list of priorities.

So in deciding where to build the power station, they have to consider build costs and compensation costs in the event of an accident.

Obviously an accident at Wylfa is not possible according to the experts - although most do not live anywhere near the power stations they are advocating should be built.

Yes there are benefits for Wylfa B to go ahead but the benefits pale into insignificance compared with disadvantages.

If the UK needs Nuclear Energy then build the power stations near to the areas of demand.
Close to Westminster in London or the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff would be good starting points for debate.

Apr 13, 2011
Nuclear still safer than other energy
by: Low Carbonate

Despite the recent problems at the Fukushima plant in Japan, generating electricity via nuclear is still safer than other methods, such as coal.

Just think how many fatalities there have been from the extraction of coal and work that out in terms of KWh's per fatality and compare with nuclear. The figures will tell their won story....

and we haven't even metioned the low carbon aspects or the significantly important fact about reliability - that is producing baseload supply of electricity.

last few days we've had no or very little wind!!

Apr 13, 2011
wylfa b still strong support
by: Wee Dont

Wee Doe, you are wrong.

the Welsh Assembly Labour party is supporting Wylfa B and the huge economic benefits coming from it. you are wrong to say Laboiur doesnt want another Wylfa.

But Plaid are against the power station. their leader is for it, i think. he was last time. hey, there's an election coming!! of course..

Apr 12, 2011
Murphy`s Law
by: Wee doe

So, we may not be as vulnerable to earthquakes as Japan but do we really want to wait and find out ?

There was never meant to be another Chernobyl because we learnt lessons, then there was never to be another Three Mile Island and now we`re told that Fukushima will improve the technology - against what though ? - air accident, terrorist attack, cyber-attack, human error, sea surge ?? Hardly.....

There are real alternatives as the Welsh Assembly Government have outlined. These too will create much-needed jobs without the inherent risks.

Wake up Ynys Môn - E-on and RWE (Horizon)are international companies dictating the tune for our small island and it`s not what we need. They`re German companies not allowed to build in that country and they shouldn`t be allowed to build here either !

Apr 12, 2011
Murphy`s Law
by: Wee doe

So, we may not be as vulnerable to earthquakes as Japan but do we really want to wait and find out ?

There was never meant to be another Chernobyl because we learnt lessons, then there was never to be another Three Mile Island and now we`re told that Fukushima will improve the technology - against what though ? - air accident, terrorist attack, cyber-attack, human error, sea surge ?? Hardly.....

There are real alternatives as the Welsh Assembly Government have outlined. These too will create much-needed jobs without the inherent risks.

Wake up Ynys Môn - E-on and RWE (Horizon)are international companies dictating the tune for our small island and it`s not what we need. They`re German companies not allowed to build in that country and they shouldn`t be allowed to build here either !

Apr 11, 2011
Wylfa is not Fukushima
by: David

Albert, you make an excellent point. We need to put things into a proper perspective. The difference in magnitude of the earthquake experienced in North Wales in 1984 and the recent event off north easr Japan is significant. Moreover, it was the tsunami that caused the problem, not the initial earthquake.

We should wait for the report by Dr Mike Weightman.

Apr 11, 2011
No more nuclear please: we need safe jobs
by: Phil S

The most common cause of nuclear accidents is simple human error, compounded by rushing things through for political reasons ? a situation that is quite plausible here. The EPR design has revealed its flaws during construction at Olkiluoto, and the Westinghouse design has yet to be tried anywhere in the world. Decommissioning would ensure continuity of labour at current levels for many years to come, while new employment opportunities are created. The amount of jobs that would go to local people through a Wylfa B has been hyped beyond all credibility. It would be interesting to see how many local firms are on the current tender list for road construction, for example. The fact of the matter is that nuclear power cannot be reborn without massive public subsidy, already being supplied covertly and due to rise. I think it now extremely unlikely that Horizon Nuclear will go ahead unless they receive a vast amount of money from the taxpayer and the consumer. There has to be an end to the practice of filling the pockets of private companies from the public purse.

Apr 11, 2011
Accidents happen
by: Sue

It wasn't the earthquake or the tsunami that directly caused the problems at Fukushima but the collapse of the national grid. We came close to that here this winter during the big freeze.

Every nuclear accident around the world is always blamed on 'exceptional circumstances'. How many 'freak accidents' do we have to have before we realise accidents and human error do happen, however advanced the technology?

Anglesey has so much potential for renewable energy and this would genuinely result in local jobs and a boost to the local economy

Apr 11, 2011
New Nuclear? No thanks
by: Nick J

There are plenty of other ways to make power - clean, safe power and in doing so, create jobs.

Apr 10, 2011
Pump failure
by: Albert Gomperts

In all fairness, the pumps in the Japanese plant failed not after the plant had been shaken by a very powerful earthquake but only after the plant was flooded by a huge tsunami.
The most recent earthquake anywhere near the Wylfa plant hit in 1984 and was of the order of 4.1 on the Richter scale. The Japanese earthquake was approximately 4 orders of magnitude greater.
Last year we witnessed the death of 27 New Zealand miners in a coal mine, several disasters in Chinese coalmines, and a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that will affect livelihoods for years to come. However, there were very few calls for the abandonment of fossil fuels. A bit of perspective please!

Apr 10, 2011
wylfa is the anser
by: Jeff

I am all for a new Wylfa. the island needs jobs, the economy is down and our young people want the chance to work here.

Anglesey is not on a major fault line, so the chances of us getting a mega earthquake is small.
smaller than being hit by asteroid or winning the lottery!!

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