The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh Forum submits today its formal response to the National Planning Inspectorate considering to approve a development consent order for the Wylfa B development in Anglesey, Wales. (1)
An initial summary was developed in August, but this full submission allows the NFLA to outline in detail its concerns over the proposed development to the Inspectorate. The process for seeking approval is a key stage for the Hitachi-owned Horizon Nuclear Power entity that proposes to develop a new nuclear reactor at the Wylfa Site. Hitachi are not though expected to make a final investment decision on the project until sometime in 2019 or 2020.
The core conclusions of the NFLA’s submission are:
- It is highly regrettable that consideration of Horizon Nuclear Power’s application for a Development Control Order for the Wylfa Newydd / B Nuclear Power Station is reliant on UK Government National Policy Statements which are totally out of date. Nuclear Power stations are not economically competitive, cannot be built urgently by 2025 and energy efficiency measures mean there is no longer a need for them.
- Regardless of this, the particular proposal put forward by Horizon Nuclear Power for this particular site on the Island of Anglesey is totally inappropriate and therefore should not be approved.
- Building such a large infrastructure project in a remote rural area like Anglesey is likely to increase local unemployment in the longer term, and have a disruptive impact on the local economy. Going ahead with Wylfa Newydd is likely to detract attention from the far greater job-creating potential of other industries, such as a domestic energy efficiency programme, and the offshore renewable industry, and may actually dissuade companies from setting up in Anglesey, as well as damaging existing industry, such as tourism and agriculture, which rely on an areas reputation for a clean environment to attract business.
- It is also likely to be particularly disruptive to the future of the Welsh Language on the island.
- Wylfa Newydd would produce nuclear waste containing almost 70% of the radioactivity content of the existing waste legacy, and which will most likely need to be stored on the Anglesey site for at least the next 120 years.
- If there were an accident at Wylfa B which required the evacuation of an area similar to the area evacuated around Fukushima, experience suggests this would cause complete chaos because of the limited capacity of available routes to the mainland.
- Given that renewable, decentralised and energy efficiency alternatives to Wylfa Newydd do exist which are cheaper and can be implemented more quickly, it is particularly perverse to accept the rather devastating impact the proposals will have on designated conservation sites.
- The impact of sea level rise on the proposed site needs to be thoroughly examined in the light of the latest scientific projections on the impact of climate change.
NFLA are looking to combine with local pressure groups in Wales to hold a further public meeting on the multifarious issues of concern found in the NFLA’s submission on the Wylfa B development in the new year. NFLA are also currently developing a model response for Irish Councils to respond to a separate transboundary consultation initiated by the Irish Government to consider the potential impacts of a Wylfa B development on the island of Ireland. This will be issued shortly.
NFLA Steering Committee and Welsh Forum Chair, Councillor Ernie Galsworthy said:
“NFLA finds it quite peculiar that the Planning Inspectorate are considering a detailed inquiry on the Wylfa B development at a time when the UK Government’s National Planning Statement on new nuclear is out of date and currently being updated. Notwithstanding this, Wylfa B is not required given that renewable and decentralised energy alternatives, coupled with energy efficiency projects, can provide the required level of electricity generation in a much quicker time. Wylfa B would also generate large levels of highly radioactive waste and such a development could have a devastating impact on local, sensitive conservation sites. In sum, Wylfa B is also not required as better ways at local job creation should be sought instead.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) New Nuclear Monitor 54 can be found on the NFLA website