Fukushima and Wylfa B Nuclear Plans
by David Phillips
As we watch the devastating impact of the tsunami on Japan's nuclear infrastructure, thoughts turn to Wylfa B on the island, the proposed new power station by Horizon Nuclear Power.
There has always been an anxiety about safety features surrounding nuclear energy, with memories of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl being revived. Now with the acute situation at Fukushima, new questions naturally arise, and this calls for a calm, measured reflection and hard headed response.
What impact will recent events in Japan have on the new nuclear build programme worldwide and particularly here in the UK and specifically on Anglesey?
Is this going to stall the drive to expand low carbon nuclear energy or will it be put into its proper context, namely an accident in an area highly susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis?
Here is a comment received today by this site:After Japan, we all need to be aware. If the cooling system fails at Wylfa A or the proposed Wylfa B, how on earth are we to get off the island? Many of us want to know about the plans for evacuation. Have these been published yet?
Will their be enough iodine tablets and should we have them in our homes?
Now is the time to step up the campaign, whoever is in charge - this is a perfect opportunity.
These are concerns and of course they should be treated seriously. There is, however, a need
to have a proper assessment of all the potential contributory factors which could result in an emergency of similar magnitude to that witnessed at Fukushima. Horizon Nuclear Power
, the RWE NPower and E.ON Joint Venture set up to develop new power capacity in the UK including Wylfa, has issued a statement following the Fukushima incident.
While the company declined to comment on the specific aspects of the nuclear incident at Fukushima, it did welcome a statement from UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, CHris Huhne, which said Dr Mike Weightman, the Chief Nuclear Inspector, will be preparing a report on the implications and lessons from the incidents in Japan.
Horizon also stressed that UK nuclear installations go through a thorough assessment to ensure their integrity even in the most challenging circumstances.
These tests consider what safety and health features are necessary to withstand natural disasters and help avoid harm to the environment and the public.
We look forward to the recommendations arising from the Chief Nuclear Inspector's investigations.
What do you think? Is Anglesey, and the rest of the UK, a completely different case to the earthquake-prone country of Japan?
Or should we treat all such locations the same and take the view that nuclear energy is too risky?
Do we need to consider evacuation plans for Anglesey or is this being alarmist?
For more local news and articles, subscribe to our free Anglesey Newsletter
here. It's as easy as 1-2-3!