Campaigners march against plans for new nuclear power stations
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
Young anti-nuclear campaigners have protested against plans for new nuclear power stations to be built in Wales with a 70 mile march across Gwynedd and Anglesey.
The youth cohort of CND Cymru walked from Trawsfynnydd nuclear power Station in Gwynedd to Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey.
The march by campaigners aged between 16 and 35 finished with a rally on Saturday (September 10).
During the walk they presented declarations to Gwynedd Council, Anglesey County Council and Bangor University.
The campaigners also bedded down in village halls and community centres on the route.
The hike started with a rally, attended by about 80-100 people, at Trawsfynydd on September 4.
The first leg of the march took them to Porthmadog and a route, with various stopping points, took them via Penygroes, Bangor, Llangefni and Traeth Lligwy.
In the final section, the last leg took them from Traeth Lligwy to Wylfa on Saturday.
A rally was then held at Wylfa with speakers Bethan Siân Jones, CND Cymru, PAWB, Ceri Cunnington, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Sophie McKe and XR Cymru.
Dr Bethan Sian Jones, who is 28, and lives in Aberystywyth, is the national secretray of CND Cymru.
She said “It has been fantastic, I didn’t get too many blisters yet! We have had so much support along the way, and people have been so kind and joined us on the route.
“We decided to do the march to raise our awareness of our feelings against the decision by the Westminster government, to site small modular nuclear reactors on the sites of Trawdfynydd and Wylfa.
“The government want to re-introduce the nuclear energy but we don’t think it will solve climate change.
“We know how dangerous it is re Chernobyla nd Fukushima, we are so fed up of the “green washing” about nuclear energy, people saying it is “green.”
“It is not, it is dangerous and it involves the mining of uranium, on the land of indigenous people in Australia and in the global south.
“They also say it will provide people with jobs, but it won’t.”
“People have been amazing, it’s been very humbling to meet people on the way who have supported us, and anti-nuclear organisations like PAWB and CADNO have been great too.
Robat Idris of PAWB said “It has been a truly inspiring experience to support the young members of CND Cymru in their march from Trawsfynydd to Wylfa to oppose the possibility of further nuclear reactors being built at the two sites.
“The welcome they have been given along the way tells us that nuclear is very far from being backed by the local population.
“Both PAWB (People Against Wylfa ) and our sister anti-nuclear organisation at Trawsfynydd, are greatly heartened by the example shown by our youth.
“They see nuclear power as being intrinsically entwined with nuclear weapons, as being too late to help with climate change, and as being too expensive to help with fuel poverty – as well as being totally toxic and with no credible waste disposal plan.”.
PAWB’s co-ordinator Dylan Morgan said: “Their goal is to underline why modular nuclear reactors or the traditional huge ones should not be built anywhere.
“They are presenting declarations on the march to Gwynedd and Ynys Môn County Councils and Bangor University on behalf of movements opposing nuclear power.”
“The future belongs to the young. It is the privilege of campaigning groups CADNO and PAWB to support them on the march.”
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My mind isn’t made up on the issue of nuclear power. I’m not sure it’s valid to cite Chernobyl or Fukushima as a basis for opposition to state of the art nuclear power generation. However, even if it is scientifically possible to produce it relatively safely and cleanly, there is the question of who we are entrusting to do so. Ultimately, power infrastructure isn’t run according to scientific best practice, it’s run by a lethal concoction of private greed and state incompetence. At the same time, we are absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, completely screwed if we don’t… Read more »
But large scale nuclear power stations will affect Wales’ future autonomy due to the costs of de-commissioning. And given that Sizewell C has just been given the go-ahead, I am not sure that another large scale power plant will be economically viable on Anglesey. Smaller modular reactors, I have less of an issue with, but we do need to think about the implications of nuclear waste, and as we produce 2 x the amount of energy we consume, we have got to consider who would really benefit from another large scale nuclear power station in Wales? It won’t be us,… Read more »
I’m not really making a pro-nuclear argument here. If we are in a situation where the only way we can avert even more serious climate catastrophe than we face already is to immediately and urgently transition to nuclear, that’s a terrible situation, and it’s one caused by half a century of inexcusably failing to act on CO2 emissions. My point is that CND should be just that: the Campaign for Nuclear DISARMAMENT. It’s focus should be nuclear weapons and nuclear war. Campaigning against the construction of nuclear power stations, whether I agree with it or not, should not be happening… Read more »
‘Small modular reactors’ is a lie. What they are proposing are bigger than previous reactors.
Also EDF have refused what was offered to them by the UK government last week, so Sizewell C probably won’t happen. Nuclear power is the most expensive and not attractive to investors.
As long as Wylfa and Trawsfynydd don’t happen, then I am not overly concerned.
It is totally valid to cite Chernobyl and Fukushima. They are examples of nuclear accidents. Power stations in Ukraine however are a different matter and an obvious target without a nuclear bomb even. It is one of the biggest nuclear power station in the world, the consequences of which a wartime intention is vast. Climate change is here NOW. Any SMR developed by Rolls Royce will be too late – even they admit that SMRs won’t be online until 2030 at the earliest. Every pound wasted on these high tech experimental fantasies is one not spent on technologies proven to… Read more »
Not only are modern reactor designs inherently safe – they literally cannot melt down – the waste they produce is radioactively inert, meaning they do not produce “nuclear waste”. In addition, modern reactor designs can use waste material from older reactors as fuel – we can literally power the country using nuclear waste and make that waste safe in the process. It really baffles me when people who claim to be concerned about the environment ignore and actively campaign against nuclear power. All the examples frequently cited against it are completely irrelevant. We need wind & solar but at the… Read more »
Radioactive isotopes eventually decay, or disintegrate, to harmless materials. Some isotopes decay in hours or even minutes, but others decay very slowly. Strontium-90 and cesium-137 have half-lives of about 30 years (half the radioactivity will decay in 30 years). Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years.
If you are correct, and there is no reason for me to doubt you, I cannot understand why the government has chosen the two former large power station sites. The greatest demand for power is where one finds the greatest population. So, they should be built in places close up to London, if not on brown field sites in Greater London itself. Wales is not really short of power and could produce even more if the opportunities of wave and tidal power were to be harnessed.
The best position for any power station is where there are already pylons in place to get the generated electricity into the grid. In that respect, the site of two former large power stations is ideal.
I have a neighbour who is involved with buying up land/getting landowners’ permission for building the new pylons needed to get the electricity into the grid from a new wind farm. It’s a mind bogglingly huge task that’s going to take years. The whole job wouldn’t be necessary if wind farms could just be built on the site of former power stations.
Yes, I do understand that but Wylfa is 300 miles from London as the crow flies. That is quite a lot of power loss in the transmission line. London, also is well upplied with cabling so hooking up a new mini reactor should not be that big a job.
There is a lot of misinformation and half-truths that are being used to argue against, provably, one of the safest and cleanest (nuclear is tasked to deal with its waste unlike any other generation form) way of making electricity. Nuclear technology also allows us to produce nuclear medicines to diagnose and treat peoples illnesses, nuclear provides power for satellites and missions to the moon, Mars and beyond, can de-carbonise industry and roads, and so much more. Historically, in north Wales, it has been a massive provider of well-paid, high value long-term employment too. And again: modern nuclear power stations are… Read more »