No more nuclear nonsense

by Phil
(Llangoed, Ynys Môn)

1) Jobs: northern Anglesey is one of the poorest parts of Wales after relying on Wylfa for nearly 4 decades, so nuclear is not the answer.

The island needs economic diversification for successful job creation, not dependence on a single employer. Decommissioning will employ a very large workforce for a good few years to come.

That will allow time for other industries to be encouraged to invest and become established. These need not necessarily be power based, but the island would make an ideal base for the research, engineering and development of renewables.

2) The safety record and efficiency of the UK nuclear industry is poor. Its incompetence has been demonstrated in recent years at Sellafield (eg the THORP accident and the abysmal failure of the MOX plant).

Who says so?

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. Anglesey cannot be adequately evacuated in the event of a major accident, having only two already congested bridges to the mainland.

3) A recent report commissioned by the German government from Mainz university shows that children under 5 living within 5km of a nuclear plant show double the risk of getting leukaemia.

Farmers on the island are all too aware that there are still restrictions on sheep grazing in north Wales over 20 years after the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine.

4) Nuclear generation is insanely expensive. The NDA can't even afford the current decommissioning costs, and even the Commons Public Accounts Committee will not give credence to the goverment's current decommissioning estimate of £73 billion.

The government say the costs will be met solely by the operating companies, but that cannot be done. Look for hidden public subsidies, small print, U-turns, or rising costs for the consumer.

5) There is still no adequate solution for the storage of radioactive waste for tens of thousands of years.

This deadly legacy is not one we should be passing on the future generations. Independent nuclear expert Dr John Large describes the government's policy on waste as a shambles.

6) Nuclear power is not the answer to global warming and is not carbon neutral.

The nuclear cycle as a whole – mining, transportation, construction and decommissioning produces considerable greenhouse gases.

7) The proliferation of nuclear materials around the world is a major security risk and the power plants themselves are vulnerable to terrorist attack.

8) Uranium mining poses severe health threats to mining communities overseas.

9) Nuclear power does not provide a reliable supply: Wylfa's existing reactors have experienced long shut-downs in recent years. And uranium too is a finite resource.

10) For those who say the new generation of nukes are all-singing all-dancing improvements on the old ones, just take a look at the Olkiluoto 3 plant under construction in Finland.

Already 2 years behind schedule, spiralling costs, technical problems and already a failure to meet Finland's CO2 reduction targets, its original raison d'être.

11) The government intends to bypass local democracy with new centralised planning laws. Local people will not be able to oppose anything serious, other than the colour of the toilet doors.

So PLEASE let's not get involved in this nuclear nightmare: there are other solutions, better jobs, positive alternatives.Let's go for them, and be very wary of the pro-nuclear lobby. NO WYLFA B!

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Comments for No more nuclear nonsense

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Dec 19, 2009
nuclear plant incidents
by: Spunge

You seem to be missing the point. A serious nuclear incident occurred, but fortunately Lady Luck was smiling down on Sizewell A for it not to have developed into something far more severe.

Unforseen incidents such as this are bound to occur in any industry, but when that industry relies on highly radioactive materials as part of its day-to-day operation, the scale of the incident suddenly increases by several levels of magnitude.

There is absolutely no room for these sorts of incidents, and if they can't be foreseen or guaranteed not to occur (which of course they cannt be), then they should not be building nuclear power stations, especially not so close to centres of population.

Typically, the incident has been brushed under the carpet and downplayed just as the Government wants to increase the number of nuclear installations in order to meet carbon emmissions targets, which in itself, is pure folly.

The most worrying thing for me, is not the occurrence of the incident itself, but the secrecy and lack of openness by those concerned in not revealing what happened.

These are the same people who the public get to meet at open events staged by the nuclear industry who smilingly reassure the locals that nuclear is a good thing and incredibly safe, and give the same rehearsed old spiel about jobs and what it will do for the local community.

I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

Dec 18, 2009
by: Dave A

Sorry spunge, Wylfa uses dry storage.

Jun 12, 2009
Close shave at Sizewell A
by: Spunge

Anyone seen this...

Not the sort of thing you want to read living so close to an out-of-date Magnox.

Jun 04, 2009
Stupid not to build Wylfa B
by: Dafydd Morgan

How can you say its nonsense to build a new nuclear plant on Anglesey?

We cannot just depend on decommissioning keeping people in jobs, hundreds of people are to be made redundant so by not building Wylfa B, those people have to leave the area because there is nothing else here for them.

By not building this nuclear power station the population on Anglesey would drop dramatically and Anglesey becomes a place people retire to.

By building Wylfa b, the population would rise and bring more money into the environment, little bed and breakfasts who thrive on the Wylfa contractors would be able to continue and make a decent living.

Where as if Wylfa B doesn't come then they would have to shut. If you're from Anglesey yourself then you must not be in the nuclear industry, for people who work there this is a career jeopardising move as people only know nuclear.

Mar 24, 2009
Yes it is
by: Sponge

1) Lazy council
2) Nuclear is nuclear to the laymen. Subdividing technologies may work for your argument, but it doesn't address the fact that Wylfa B won't be magnox.
3) What if they were your kids?
4) Yes it is.
5) That's not a reasoned argument to generate more waste.
6) Flippant remark. No bicycles, but wind farms don't require uranium ore mining either.
8) Yeah right. Look to China and India for examples of responsibility.
9) Nothing that couldn't be addressed using a combination of renewables.
10) Doesn't change the fact that it wasn't completed on time no matter who is at fault. If the industry is trying to get people on side, they need to be able to demonstrate competence from day one. This doesn't demonstrate or indeed inspire competence.

11) There's something else that shouldn't have been built. Taking any of the decision-making process away from the people it affects most is quite an interesting viewpoint, and one I suggest most intelligent people wouldn't necessarily agree with.

Why there is such dogged determination to see something like Wylfa B through when there is such strong local opposition is bewildering.

It smacks of a lazy council having done too little too late to attract business and employment opportunities onto the island.

There are valid renewable alternatives to nuclear and as nuclear uses finite reserves of uranium, these will become the main sources of energy generation in the near future and beyond. It's called progress.

Mar 23, 2008
Not nonsense!
by: Wil

1) You are right to say that the island needs economic diversification for economic success. Any area relying on one industry is deluding itself.

However, it is not the job of one industry to instigate diversification. Anglesey's performance as a whole must come back to political will and poor policies over the years.

The island would be a far poorer place without the employment offered there today.

2) Blaming the whole industry for the poor record of Sellafield is hardly fair. Magnox generation has an excellent safety record. And there is no justification for alarmist comments for evacuating our island.

3) The report does indeed say this, but also says that there is no evidence that the risk is due to power stations and that other causes should be considered.

4) Nuclear generation is not insanely expensive. Decommissioning is something quite different; take into consideration the fact that successive UK governments have spent the money that was put aside for decommissioning.

Secondly, the current power stations were never designed to be decommissioned; and thirdly, the new stations will have all of this taken into consideration and it does not seem quite the doomsday scenario that the anti-nuclear brigade like to paint.

5) Visit the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) website for your answer.

We have the waste already, it will have to be managed and in the small geological timescale this too can be seen as an opportunity for sustainable employment.

The waste is safely and securely immobilised and packaged, not just dumped will nilly!

6) No, but as recognised by experts it is a PART of the answer, and in 40 years time hopefully governments will have addressed the long-term investment in research and design to address clean energy.

Nothing is carbon neutral. How are wind farms produced?

Lots of little people peddling away on bikes to drive the machinery used in their construction?

7) Risks can be and are managed - that is why there has not been a security incident. You could argue the same for chemical or oil/petrol plants. You can't just shut everything down.

8) Again, responsible companies would ensure that any risk to their workforce is minimised.

9) One power station would indeed be folly, that is why you need a fleet. All power stations, hydro included, have shutdowns to carry out essential maintenance work.

10) Why is Olkiluoto 3 in Finland behind schedule? Failure to deliver parts to time by the supply chain, further improvements. When it does come on-line it will be the showcase as advertised.

Not many large projects get completed on time and within budget - look at the London Olympics.

11) Can you blame them? Terminal 5 at Heathrow took 20 years to get through the planning system; it is what was required 20 years ago.

Frankly, everyone should be involved, pressure the industry to be open and frank, and use the industry as a lever to improve infrastructure and opportunities far outside power generation.

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