RESPECT Wales are shocked to hear that Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru, has stated that – in principle – he supports the building of a new nuclear power station in Anglesey.
This represents a historic break with Plaid’s policy of supporting a nuclear free Wales.
This is bad news for every anti-nuclear campaigner in the UK.
New Labour want to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, Plaid have undermined the fightback against nuclear power everywhere by supporting this plant and strengthened the hand of Blair, Brown and the pro-nuclear lobby.
And behind nuclear power lies the spectre of nuclear weapons . . .
RESPECT believes that nuclear power cannot be part of the solution to climate change because:
* Nuclear power is costly. It relies on government subsidies of billions of pounds that would be better spent on developing renewable energy.
* Nuclear power is not carbon neutral as its supporters claim. At every stage of the production cycle, from the mining of uranium to the building of reactors and the storage of waste products, greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere and other pollutants leaked into the local environment.
In Southern Australia, the Olympic Dam uranium mine is the region’s largest producer of C02. The mine has also caused huge environmental damage with some of the most ancient springs in the Australian outback are drying up.
* Nuclear power is unsafe. From Chernobyl to Three Mile Island nuclear power has been disastrous.
In Sellafield, leukaemia and cancer rates have rocketed in the vicinity of the power station. There is still no solution to the storage/disposal of nuclear waste.
An Observer article in July 2002 reported, “almost 90% of Britain’s hazardous nuclear stockpile is stored so badly it could explode or leak with devastating results at any time”.
According to a study by Friends of the Earth Cymru, Wales’ current electricity needs could and should be met entirely by renewable energy. In a July 2005 briefing they write:
“Wind energy, offshore and onshore could generate around 30 per cent. Underwater turbines could generate up to 50 per cent. Biomass, solar power and hydroelectric schemes could also make smaller, but significant contributions to make up the difference. Tidal lagoons in the Severn estuary could generate more electricity than Wales needs. Wave energy and tidal streams are other technologies that could be considered.”
RESPECT believe the climate crisis must be solved through a combination of renewables, energy efficiency measures including a massive programme of building insulation, a shift from private motoring towards public transport, and a rapid transition to a low carbon economy.
* Emergency steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels, alongside massively increased investment in sustainable energy – including solar, biological, and wind and wave power.
* Opposition to Rhodri Morgan's tidal barrage and call for investment in tidal lagoon technology that is more cost effective & does not jeopardise local habitats.
* No more oil wars. Troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan.
* An international treaty which goes way beyond Kyoto. Campaign for local councils to cut emissions by 25% over 5 years. We demand the government to set binding annual targets of 3% cuts at Welsh Assembly and UK government level.
*A cheap and integrated transport system to provide an alternative to car use, making the current road building programme unnecessary. Re-direct the £30 billion spent on road building into public transport.
* Localised food production with a big reduction in food miles.
* Sustainable town & city planning.
*Tough action against corporate polluters & companies like Esso.
* Halt airport expansion and end the £9 billion tax-break to the airlines. We oppose the expansion of Cardiff Airport.
*Keep Wales nuclear free. Close all nuclear power plants. No to Wylfa B. Scrap trident nuclear weapons.
* All new buildings to be energy efficient. Increased public investment to make homes energy efficient and free insulation to every home. Build new sustainable council housing.
* High quality facilities to maximise recycling. No to incinerators. The aim should be full recycling of waste. In Neath, Respect supporters initiated the Stop the Incinerator campaign.
* Build a massive grassroots movement to save the planet.
The leadership of Plaid are willing to form a coalition with New Labour or even the Tories. They have supported the St. Athan’s Military academy, now they are supporting Wylfa B nuclear power station.
We invite any socialists who are supporters or members of Plaid to join a party – RESPECT – that stands unequivocally against war, racism, privatisation, destruction of the environment, nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
PLAID CYMRU? NO THANKS!