Hinkley Point & Fukushima

In February I attended a meeting in the National Assembly in Cardiff to hear Naoto Kan (Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant). He now tours the world to warn of the dangers of nuclear power: over three-quarters of Japanese people now oppose restarting nuclear power stations.

If a comparable accident occurred at the proposed new £16 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point (on the Somerset coast opposite Cardiff), its evacuation zone would include Torfaen (right up to Blaenafon) and Monmouthshire and cost our economy many more £billions. This, even before considering the money aspect, should be reason enough to ditch the Hinkley Point proposal. cHinkleymapnov2013Because no British investors want anything to do with Hinkley Point, our government has had to woo French and Chinese government-backed investors with a 35 year guaranteed price at double the current electricity price. Yet, even at this inflated price (which is being challenged by the Austrian government as an illegal subsidy), it seems that Areva (and maybe others) may pull out and the financial package may unravel.

Whereas Germany is phasing out nuclear power in favour of renewables, British conservatives (and UKIP even more so) seem hell-bent on promoting this failed technology – even as solar and tidal energy have become the preferred options elsewhere. The UK government is in thrall to foreign-owned vested interests desperate to build nuclear stations in any country but their own.

This is why Hitachi, who built the stricken Fukushima plant, is so keen to build the proposed Wylfa B on Anglesey. Hitachi would have us believe that this was an unforeseeable event never to be repeated. Not so.

As explained by Naoto Kan, the Fukushima designers had ignored known risks (such as a tsunami) and they, in his opinion, were the cause of what he (and a commission set up by the Japanese parliament) termed a ‘human disaster’.   Anglesey beware!!


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