The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh Forum holds its spring seminar in Aberystwyth this Friday, 10th March. It will then join up with other like-minded groups to hold an important conference on Saturday, 11th March, the 6th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.
The NFLA Welsh Forum spring seminar on the 10th March will focus on Welsh new nuclear, the wider nuclear debate and the sustainable renewable energy alternatives.
- Rob Davies, People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) – who will consider all the local concerns around the development of a new nuclear reactor in Anglesey.
- Tim Deere-Jones, independent marine radioactivity consultant – who will give an overview of the NFLA’s detailed comments to Natural Resources Wales on the environmental and discharge issues around the proposed new nuclear reactor for Wylfa Newydd.
- Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear USA – who will outline the international crisis in funding new nuclear reactors and provide an American perspective on this issue.
- Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary – who will present how local authorities are developing decentralised energy strategies to generate renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage solutions. (1)
The Fukushima anniversary conference on the 11th March has been organised jointly by PAWB, the Trawsfynydd community group CADNO, NFLA, Friends of the Earth Wales, Greenpeace Wales, CND Wales and the Welsh Language Society (Cymdeithas yr Iaith).
The aim of the conference will be to develop a ‘united Welsh front against nuclear power and for renewable energy’. It includes speakers from a number of Welsh political parties, from Austria, the United States, England and Wales. Workshops will delve further down into challenging new nuclear and promoting renewable energy alternatives. (2)
In 2015 and 2016 Welsh groups and NFLA were involved in bringing the former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan to the Welsh Assembly, Anglesey and Westminster. He talked about his real concern over new nuclear build and advocated that Japan, England and Wales move rather to develop a wide renewable energy mix instead.
Six years after the Fukushima disaster, one of the worst incidents in the history of nuclear power, a large exclusion zone still exists around the site just as some of the highest recorded levels of radiation have recently been found on parts of the site. The Japanese Government has estimated the economic costs in cleaning-up radioactive contamination and paying compensation to those affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster has more than doubled to around 21.5 trillion yen (£155 billion). Its original estimate in 2011 had been £50 billion, raising to £100 billion by 2014. Huge amounts of radioactive waste still remains in the area, and concerns continue to exist over the vast amounts of radioactively contaminated water on the site. (3)
The conference will conclude with an agreed statement and declaration from all those present.
NFLA Steering Committee Chair and Welsh Forum Co-Chair Councillor Ernie Galsworthy said:
I am looking forward to these two important meetings taking place around the sixth anniversary of the tragic Fukushima nuclear disaster. I am delighted Welsh groups concerned around the development of new nuclear facilities are coming together to look at ways to campaign against such developments and advocate sustainable, renewable energy alternatives. Wales does not need to pursue new nuclear given the rich renewable resources that exist in the country. Wales should be following the examples of Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal and many more in embracing renewables, and ditching new nuclear.”
For more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) NFLA Welsh Forum seminar, Ceredigion County Council offices, Aberystwyth, 10th March 2017
(2) Special Conference – ‘A united Welsh front against nuclear power on the 6th Fukushima anniversary’, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 11th March
(3) Reuters, 9th December 2016 https://reuters.uk.com/artcile/us-tepco-fukushima-costs-idUKKBN13Y047