NFLA joint media release with WANA, PAWB, CADNO and CND Cymru
At a joint conference held on Saturday 14th April at the Owain Glyndwr Parliament House, Machynlleth, the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh Forum agreed support for the ‘Machynlleth Declaration’ with groups such as the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance (WANA), People Against Wylfa B (PAWB), the Trawsfynydd pressure group CADNO and CND Cymru. It seeks to support a ‘green, nuclear-free Wales’.
The conference was held to discuss the core nuclear issues in Wales, the alternatives to nuclear power in Wales and allowed for discussion on developing joint campaigns in South Wales and the South West of England with the ‘Stop Hinkley’ group, as well as considering the impact of Brexit and the UK leaving the Euratom Treaty. (1)
Amongst the presentations provided were updates on the proposed development of the Wylfa B site in Anglesey, the issues and safety concerns around the dumping of 300,000 tons of material from the proposed Hinkley Point C reactor site on to a marine site a few miles off the coast from Cardiff Bay, and the concerns over developing small modular nuclear reactors at Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd.
The real potential in Wales for the development of a zero-carbon, renewable energy future was also provided by a speaker from the Centre for Alternative Technology (2); and the issues around seeking to develop a deep underground radioactive waste repository in England or Wales was considered by the NFLA Secretary, profiling its model response to current consultations from the UK and Welsh Governments (3).
At the end of the conference, the ‘Machynlleth Declaration’ was agreed upon, summarising the core actions of the day. It reads:
MACHYNLLETH DECLARATION for a ‘Green Nuclear-Free Wales’ –
“In a packed gathering called to further the debate on our energy future, a meeting in the Owain Glyndwr Parliament House in Machynlleth on Saturday April 14th agreed UNANIMOUSLY that:
Political leaders in Wales should ‘wise-up’ to what is happening in the nuclear industry now as there are a number of issues affecting all parts of Wales and they need to take action before it is too late –
1. The new-build plans for nuclear reactors at Wylfa (2 reactors), Hinkley Point (2 reactors), Oldbury (2 reactors), Moorside (3 reactors) – all of which will impact on Wales and its coastline; these developments are heavily reliant on huge subsidies for foreign-headquartered companies.
2. The proposal to use the ‘Cardiff Deep Grounds’ close to Cardiff Bay as a dump for Hinkley Point C mud that contains heavy metals and unknown levels of plutonium, uranium and other radioactive substances.
3. The nuclear waste dumping consultation exercise of the UK and Welsh Government’s– the nuclear industry has yet to find a solution for the 60 years of highly radioactive waste already accumulated, and yet they plan to produce far more; this is an immoral burden for future generations to have to deal with.
4. The suggestion of developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors at Trawsfynydd.
5. The conference condemned the overnight bombing of sites in Syria and expressed real concerns of escalation to a ‘new’ Cold War between nuclear weapon states. Peaceful and diplomatic solutions through the United Nations are the most effective ways to respond to such an international crisis.
Political leaders across Wales need to recognise that all of these developments are unacceptable in a country that has more than enough renewable energy solutions of its own. They need to make it clear that Wales will not become the ‘sacrificial lamb’ for a dangerous and outdated technology that will cost the earth and is no real solution to climate change.
The meeting urged the Welsh Government and politicians of Wales to embrace the exciting prospect of a nuclear-free environment. A green energy future offers endless opportunities without any of the dangers posed by toxic radioactive waste, nuclear accidents or nuclear terrorism. The ultimate no-brainer, and an appropriate response to the Welsh Government`s highly acclaimed Well Being of Future Generations legislation.”
NFLA Acting Welsh Forum Co Chair, Councillor Sue Lent said:
“The conference held by Welsh groups concerned about nuclear developments highlighted to all the real risks and hazards over new nuclear reactors, radioactive waste and nuclear safety in Wales. I found the ‘zero-carbon Britain’ report developed by the Centre for Alternative Technology an inspiring and effective alternative where cheaper, safer and sustainable forms of renewable energy could power Wales and significantly reduce the harmful effects of climate change. The ‘Machynlleth Declaration’ encourages politicians in all political parties across Wales to support a transformative energy policy that could make Wales a leader in Europe and the world for clean, green and nuclear free energy. NFLA strongly supports such a direction in Welsh energy policy.”
Dylan Morgan of PAWB, representing the other participating groups, added:
“It was heartening to see so many people come together to seek cooperation and a new Welsh alliance calling for a nuclear free Wales. 2018 is a critical year in the Welsh new nuclear and radioactive waste debate. There are fantastic renewable alternatives in Wales like the Swansea tidal lagoon scheme, and many local decentralised and community energy projects being developed across Wales. I am delighted new cooperation was held between Welsh groups and ‘Stop Hinkley’ to challenge the need for a new nuclear reactor in Somerset and call for greater technical and scientific analysis of the environmental risks from dumping 300,000 tonnes of material from the Hinkley Point C proposed site to the waters close to Cardiff Bay. The waters and land around south Wales should not receive Hinkley C’s radioactive legacy.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) Presentations from the conference will shortly go on the NFLA website – http://www.nuclearpolicy.info.
The speakers included:
- Wylfa – a critical year in its potential development – Dr Carl Clowes, People Against Wylfa B
- Hinkley C and its potential impacts on South Wales – Tim Deere-Jones, independent radiation consultant
- Trawsfynydd and small modular reactors – Deilwen Evans, CADNO
- Why Wales is a perfect fit for renewable energy – Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology
- The radioactive waste legacy in Wales and the development of a deep underground repository – Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary
- Brexit & the Euratom Treaty – what does it mean for nuclear?
- Building a South Wales campaign with Stop Hinkley against new nuclear and the dumping of radioactively contaminated sediment in the Severn Estuary
(2) Centre for Alternative Technology, Zero Carbon Britain – http://www.zerocarbonbritain.org
(3) NFLA Radioactive Waste Policy Briefing 71 on UK and Welsh radioactive policy consultations, 11th April https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rad_Waste_Brfg_71_UK__Welsh_radwaste_policy.pdf