As expected Hitachi is to abandon all plans to build a nuclear power station at Wylfa. Well over a decade has been wasted by our politicians in supporting Wylfa B. For years, PAWB has agreed with experts around the world who warned that massive nuclear projects are unlikely to be commercially successful. All of the nuclear industry’s arguments have been negated by the growth of sustainable methods of energy production for continually falling costs. This is the reality that has been ignored, while still believing in the promises of jobs.
Anglesey’s economic future has been put in the hands of a few people in a room in Tokyo.
The hopes of a generation of young people for work in their home area were shattered.
The Gwynedd and Anglesey Joint Local Development Plan, and the North Wales Growth Plan, assumed that Wylfa B would happen, and that it would be a good thing.
We call on the Councils and the Welsh Government to start from scratch with these plans.
Westminster government and political parties
There is no clarity in the Westminster Government’s energy policy. There should be an urgent move to a nuclear-free, renewable energy policy. It’s technically possible – but it requires the political will. This should be one area where there can be party collaboration – but this time against nuclear!
A nuclear power station would have endangered lives on Anglesey and beyond, not just for our own generation but for generations to come. It would have created tons of radioactive waste, with no solution to the problem of getting rid of the poison. It would have ruined the environment over an area which is ten times greater than the current site.
The only job of the nuclear industry should be to deal with the complex problems that exist because the industry is so dangerous.
We call on Hitachi to ensure that no nuclear scheme can happen on the site in the future, should it be sold to another developer. We would welcome a discussion between Hitachi and the Island’s residents about site restoration, including the demolished houses, to its former state, for community benefit. Proposals to develop green energy schemes would be an area where Hitachi’s expertise could create many jobs here.
An alternative future?
It is possible to build a different economy, especially as new ways of looking at work have been forced upon us by coronavirus. We can also use some of the facilities intended to support Wylfa for an alternative economy. Coleg Menai in Llangefni, M-Sparc in Gaerwen, and some Bangor University departments offer themselves to such uses.
But you can’t build differently without changing the builders. Those who advised Councils and Government in support of Wylfa and other nuclear schemes need to be replaced. It will not be possible to build a new economy without changing the architects – architects who have been employed for years while failing to provide employment for our young people.
Viable and innovative ideas are available in our local communities. These have received only crumbs of support compared to Wylfa. Members of PAWB have been working with some of the people who do such excellent work in their communities. We can cite as examples Bro Môn, Cwmni Bro, Dolan, Partneriaeth Ogwen, Antur Aelhaearn, SAIL – which all include a number of other ventures.
We call on the Councils and the Welsh Government to prioritize discussions with, and support for, people like this to see what can be done locally. The time to rely on capitalist giants has to end if we are to create a better future.
Robat Idris 07799 41 66 96, 01248 450128
Dylan Morgan 07391 81 42 35, 01248 750218 (work)