Rally against Wylfa B

For those that didn't watch the launch of Sianel 62 on Sunday evening, this is an extract from one of the programmes about nuclear energy on Ynys Môn. It shows a rally held last month to oppose the construction of the proposed new power station:


There's no doubt that building a new nuclear power station will bring jobs to the area, but most of the jobs will not be for local people and the population influx is inevitably going to damage local communities and the Welsh language in those communities. That's why Cymdeithas yr Iaith played such a prominent part, alongside PAWB, in the protest.

I really doubt that those in favour of the plan to build this new nuclear power station have thought things through. At present some 600 or so people are being employed to decommission the nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd, which has long ceased to produce any electricity. So in terms of jobs, there will inevitably be plenty of work for many decades to come just decommissioning and making the existing Wylfa power station safe.


Building a new power station will also have serious consequences in terms of independence, for it is clear that the provisions being made to get the operators of new nuclear power stations to set aside money for the future clean up are inadequate. As with so much else under the agenda being followed by successive governments in Westminster, it's fine for private companies to make their profits, but the risks end up being taken by the taxpayer. As Wales is on course to produce more than all the electricity we need from renewable sources, the electricity that a new Wylfa B will produce will be superfluous to our own needs and will have to be exported from Wales. While we remain part of the UK, we could expect the UK government to pay for the excess costs on decommissioning after Wylfa B stops producing electricity. But when we are independent, who will pay the excess on the costs for decommissioning? Are we naïve enough to expect the English government and English taxpayers to do that? Fat chance. We will be stuck with the liability of cleaning up the mess for something that was built primarily to benefit people in England.

So politicians like Dafydd Elis-Thomas, who have always been opposed to independence before now, are supporting the construction of a power station that will make independence that much more difficult to achieve. That sort of thinking could only make sense to someone who was opposed to independence.


And as for the damage to the language, I don't think we should kid ourselves into thinking that someone like Dafydd is particularly concerned about that either. Just look at his track record in recent years as Llywydd. He was the one primarily responsible for changing the Cofnod (the Record of Proceedings) in the Senedd from something that was fully bilingual into something in which Welsh contributions were translated into English, but not vice versa.

Thankfully, that shameful decision has been reversed, but only now that Dafydd has stood down as Llywdd and been replaced by Rosemary Butler. So I would again warn people in Plaid Cymru to be very careful about him; so many of the policies he advocates simply make no sense for someone who purports to be a Welsh nationalist. I'll be the first to give him credit for some of the things he did in the early days of his political career, but he sold out on nationalism years ago.

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The Informer said...

DET is pro nuclear power, anti independence, a royalist & a lord, why don't Plaid boot him out? My view is "the man is a sham".

Ambiorix said...

Completely agree!

The Informer said...
DET is pro nuclear power, anti independence, a royalist & a lord, why don't Plaid boot him out? My view is "the man is a sham".

Anonymous said...

Just watched "This World : Inside the Meltdown" on BBC2. Building nuclear reactors is lunacy. The programme showed just how close they came to a nuclear cataclysm which would have rendered most of northern Japan uninhabitable for centuries. They were lucky to avoid it.

I can't support or belong to a party whose leader wants to build these monsters in Wales for the sake of a few jobs, whoever gets them. It is lunacy. It makes a mockery of the party which opposes nuclear to have a person standing for leader who wants at least two new reactors constructed.


Siônnyn said...

MH - as you know I am not anti-nuclear per-se - anti PWRS - yes, but I don't like the way 'nucelar' has come to epitomise everything that is bad. It was the Tsunami that killed 200,000+ people, and the Nunclear accident killed nobody. Anybody who has ever had an Xray will have benefited from nuclear technology, so it is just ignorant to deionise it in the wayb that some people do. Coal is far, far more lethal as a source of energy.

However, I do agree that Wales doesn't need it, and I also agree that the plans to take over a tradition Welsh family farm to house 6000 construction workers shows that this is not intended for the good of the local economy. And when they are gone, who will live in those houses? Local People? We all know the answer to that one!

Anyway, back to the point of my post - tonight at Neath RFC the last Plaid husting were held, and DET seemed determined to alienate any supporters he actually had. Yes he supported Wylfa B - which I suppose he has a right to do - But he also belittled and heckled the other two when they offered alternative solutions to Môn's difficulties. Bad manners.

He also disputed that water was a resource we had aplenty - quoting one of his big-business buddies as the source of his wisdom. But to cap it all, he alienated everybody in the room by not only standing up for the monarchy, but by promoting the benefits of Charles Prince of Wales as our head of state!

Leanne, as you would expect, was magnificent. Elin was adequate, but looked defeated. Papers due for delivery tomorrow. Mine will be in the post 10 minutes after it arrives. Might even do registered delivery.


Anonymous said...

According to OG,
LW team is now worried that Elin Jones is gaining ground and are encouraging LW voters to put DET as no 2.

Your views on this MH - and a prediction- who will be the leader of Plaid Cymru come March 15!?

Anonymous said...

Oh god- just seen that these rumours has come from Jocelyn Davies's twitter.
Is there a split in the party already!?

Really interesting read: https://twitter.com/#!/parkgirl59

Glyndo said...

"Anonymous said...
According to OG,
LW team is now worried that Elin Jones is gaining ground and are encouraging LW voters to put DET as no 2."

Is she expecting to be eliminated on the first round then?
Her supporter's second preference won't count unless that happens.

MH said...

It's just bluff. Everyone I know who will put Leanne first will put Elin second, and pretty much everyone I know who will put Elin first will put Leanne second.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a bluff. I know a LOT of Leanne supporters, and I can only think of one who will put DET as 2nd choice. I think Elin is the natural 2nd choice for Leanne supporters. Anyway, there is no way Leanne will be eliminated at the first round, so this is all academic.

Iwan Rhys

Anonymous said...

I am putting LW as no 1 and DET as n0 1 to stop Elin, ADAM is our messiah

Anonymous said...

IWJ has repeated today that Plaid should get back into coalition with Labour. His leadership and being a junior partner has resulted in the party being in the sad situation it's in.

Leanne sensibly notes that Labour is in no position to achieve significant further devolution of responsibilities. Another minority partnership would be electorally disastrous. There are too many unambitious AMs in Plaid. They need to aim to WIN, to LEAD, not to be content with playing second fiddle to Labour.

Most of these lacklustre people are supporting Elin Jones. I fear that Plaid eill flounder if she is elected.

Cibwr said...

My take on it is simple, if we are to progress the national project we need a leader who is in tune with party policy and not against it, who has credibility and leadership qualities, who can reach out of our heartlands and win new seats. This rules out DET, Elin would be a very capable leader but I don't think can break us out of the heartland. So it has to be Leanne. Her decentralist, mutualist, cooperative approach appeals greatly to me (more guild socialism than Marxism). Its interesting that some supporters from the right of the spectrum support Leanne because of her potential to reach out and gain new supporters.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.45.
I agree - Plaid must now live in the real world. To do well, we must beat Labour. Joining forces with Labour will make this harder.

Furthermore, I think this term of office for Labour will be a complete disaster - already we are seeing politically stupid decisions (Health Boards in chaos, things like AWEMA coming to light, EU funding and Uni mergers). We should keep well away from this. Aim for 2015, and hopefully build up momentum to become a Government within a decade.

Glyndo said...

So now we have it. The Leanne camp, or at least the Adam Price part of it would rather DET be leader than Elin. Why, because the Party “needs a fresh start”, how illogical is that? Give it to the old man, who completely opposes Leanne’s views, rather than someone else who really could renovate the Party.

Anonymous said...


I can't see Leanne coming third in the initial count.

I understand that some fifteen hundred people have joined or re-joined Plaid because of this leadership election (membership up 23% 27 January).

My take on it is that most of those have done so because Leanne is standing. It is her candidature which has galvanised the party and the movement. The other three original contenders couldn't galvanise a roofing nail between them. They'd have been lucky to get a dozen to turn up at the hustings to hear them.

I for one will be disillusioned if the members prefer to elect a leader who has little prospect of taking the Party and Wales forward, or even backwards, in the case of DET, who wants to get back into government with Labour (who according to him can't provide stable government with 30 members out of 60, when the SNP did just that, and did it well, with just 46 out of 129). Wouldn't it make more sense to join Labour and have a more direct influence, Dafydd?

If Plaid members don't choose Leanne it will imply to me that the party's grassroots have no stomach to stand up for Wales, and it would be a party no longer worth my support.

mairede thomas said...

"as Wales is on course to produce more than all the electricity we need from renewable sources" -

Can you please give the latest figures to support this assertion? ie. actual figures for the percentage of electricity generated by renewables and actually delivered to the end user in any recent year.

If you have figures it would be useful to also have the breakdown across energy types ie. solar, wind, hydro etc. And the reference/source of the figures. Thanks.

Gwalchmei said...

I can’t say I’m against nuclear power per se. It can be greener and cleaner than the fossil alternatives. If it were owned and controlled by the people of an independent Wales it might be worth consideration.
But the present proposal is not that different from flooding a valley to provide water for those in other parts of the UK.
Construction workers would be brought in, maybe some from Wales but mostly from other parts. Some jobs would be created but again most workers in that industry would need to have specialist skills and would be new settlers. Our culture would be further diluted and whilst some might try to embrace our ways, experience tells us that most would not.
It is clearly a formula for further colonisation.
I can’t see how DET can’t see this..
In my view it must be opposed on every level.

MH said...

Mairede, you asked a similar question in your comment on a previous post here, and I gave you an answer with references here.

Obviously you couldn't be bothered to read it.

So be careful in future. I have very little time for someone who keeps asking the same questions while at the same time keeping their fingers in their ears and their eyes tightly shut to any answers.

But if you want to respond to anything in the answer I gave before, I'll be happy to engage in discussion with you.

mairede thomas said...

MH. I had already read your posts when you gave me the links last time and very informative they are. But the latest figure for wind that I can find is still the one I quoted (i.e.3%)from the 2012 report.

A lot of your figures are projections and so that leaves the figures in Technical Annex 1 - A Low Carbon Revolution (2010), which says the total 'current' wind power generated from on and offshore wind adds up to 1.17 TWh/yr out of a total from all sources of 35.95 TWh/yr. Of this 32.82 TWh/yr is actually consumed.

It's difficult from this table to know which sources produced the power that was actually consumed by the end user, to some extent that will depend on the Grid configuration and System Operator.

The figures for all the other renewables are also not very large.

Interestingly the pumped storage at Dinorwig is allocated 'O' even though it has a capacity of 1,728MW, and is obviously used.

My point is that renewables are some way off providing the power Wales needs. And wind developments give rise to all sorts of unwanted problems and do not deliver a reliable and readily controlable stream of power. So we have to look at other sources of generation.

I agree we should be putting money into tidal.

MH said...

Although I can find the Climate Change Risk Assessment for Wales, I can't find a link to Annex 1 (there is an Annex A and B, but it's about something different) so I don't know if the 1.17 TWh figure is right or not, Mairede. But I have to say that some of the figures and statements put out by the Welsh Government before now have been untrue and misleading. I mentioned that here and here.

However if the 1.17 TWh figure is for 2011, it seems more or less right. The 2010 figures from DECC are here. They show that Wales produced 1,621 GWh (1.6 TWh) from renewables in 2010, with 999 GWh from wind (wave is negligible) 213 GWh from hydro, 223 GWh from landfill gas and 174 GWh from other biofuels. I have to say that if your 35.95 TWh/yr figure is for Wales it seems rather too high. And if the 32.82 TWh/yr figure is for consumption in Wales it is very much too high. A link to the document would help clarify things.

Pumped hydro at Dinorwig and Ffestiniog wouldn't be included because they essentially store electricity already produced from other sources. We'd be double counting if we included them.

I agree with much of what you say. The only real point at issue is what timescale to put on your "some way off". All I can do is calculate what energy will be produced if the planned schemes go ahead, which is what I did in my previous posts. The simple answer is: when the Round 3 Irish Sea Zone windfarms are up and running.

mairede thomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MH said...

Mairede, I've asked you to provide links to your figures. You haven't, and are now coming up with other figures which you are not giving links to either and which are, quite frankly, totally wrong. As one example, if you had bothered to follow the link to the DECC spreadsheet in my previous comment you would see that the figure you just gave for electricity generation from renewables was wrong by a factor of two.

I can only conclude that you are trying to play silly games, and have therefore deleted your comment, as I have done with others who do the same thing. You are free to repost a comment when you have checked the figures and can provide links to them.

mairede thomas said...

if you put the post back up (I didn't keep a copy)I can see if I made a mistake otherwise all I can say is that I told you where the figures for my earlier post came from, and the others came from DECC. I can provide links but that takes a bit more trouble on my part. Anyway I'm not sure I like the tenor of your remarks. And you are not prepared to reveal who you are.

MH said...

Who I am is no secret, Mairede. At least some of the figures you quoted before were so wildly inaccurate that you can't have got them from where you claim. So you were either putting your name to what someone else had said without checking the facts for yourself, or you were just making the figures up.

If you aren't prepared to take "a bit more trouble" to actually check the figures you want to quote and provide links to them so that others can see for themselves whether what you are saying is right or not, then please don't go to the trouble of writing them at all. Such comments will be deleted, and once deleted they cannot be restored.

mairede thomas said...

I'm not going to bother any more as you obviously don't want to be challenged.

MH said...

Thank you, Mairede. It's now obvious to me that the sum total of your contribution to the debate is your personal opinion. That's fine, everyone is entitled to their personal opinion.

But you are the sort of person who is not content to just express an honestly held opinion. You, like many others who comment on this subject in blogs and forums, resort to quoting any number of bogus "facts and figures" in an attempt to justify your position and make it appear credible. I'm sure some people will be fooled by the facts and figures you make up or help circulate, but I'm not prepared to let it happen on this blog.

naturiaethwr said...

Looks like the First Minister is going against official Welsh Government policy on nuclear...

6 March 2012: 15. Leanne Wood: What discussions has the First Minister had recently with the UK Government on the natural resources of Wales. OAQ(4)0406(FM)
The First Minister: I attended the joint ministerial committee last month, where I repeated my call for the people of Wales to control renewable energy projects up to 100 MW.
Leanne Wood: First Minister, thank you for clarifying that. Can you confirm that you only asked for energy projects up to 100 MW and that you did not ask for anything more? If you can confirm that, can you explain why your ambitions for Wales are so limited?
The First Minister: In terms of renewable energy, we have the greatest potential in projects up to 100 MW. I suspect that that question was based on nuclear—
Leanne Wood: No, not at all. It is nothing to do—
The First Minister: We fully support Wylfa B as a development for the people of Anglesey;
I do not know whether Plaid Cymru does or not. We certainly want to ensure that, when it comes to renewable energy, the people of Wales have proper control over their resources.

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