Nuclear power Will waste Chance for a Green Wales

May 23, 2007 12:33 PM

Today, as the Government's Energy White Paper is published and the 2nd nuclear consultation is launched, the Welsh Liberal Democrats warned that building nuclear power plants would be a huge missed opportunity to take advantage of Wales renewable energy options and seriously damage it's chances of becoming an environmental leader.

Jenny Willott MP has tabled a motion in Parliament calling for a nuclear free future for Wales.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"If the Government continues down a nuclear path, it is in grave danger of wasting a golden opportunity to combat climate change and take advantage of Wales' renewable energy potential.

"Wales can become a world leader in clean, home-grown energy. But as the Government said in 2003, more nuclear power would divert so much money away from offshore wind, marine power and biomass that this goal would be shot to pieces.

"Nuclear power has already consumed the majority of investment in energy. Budgets for new nuclear power stations have nearly always been wildly underestimated and deadlines hopelessly optimistic. There are always huge hidden costs too like the £90bn clean up bill which is likely to climb even higher over the next few years.

"When all the nuclear waste in Wales is accounted for, there will be enough to fill 60 Olympic size swimming pools. And we still have no where to put it.

"What's more, nuclear would only scratch the surface in the fight against climate change. By the mid-20s, we can expect a cut in carbon emissions of only a few percent. We need to do far, far more than this.

Commenting on the 'siting report' for new nuclear power that will also be published today, Jenny added:

"Alistair Darling has already said that new nuclear stations would be best built on existing nuclear sites. If the Government bulldozes through nuclear power there is real chance that Wylfa or Trawsfynydd in Wales could be picked.

"We need to send a collective message to Gordon Brown that we want Wales to have a clean green future, and not a nuclear one. I will tabling a motion in Parliament to this effect and inviting all Welsh MPs to sign."

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