Thursday, 1 November 2012

Beware the siren voices

No surprise that I’m far from being as thrilled as others seem to be about the phoenix-like resurrection of the Horizon project for another nuclear power station on Ynys Môn.  There’s more to energy policy than jobs, but this is not only not the best energy policy for Wales, it’s not even the best way to generate jobs in the energy industry in Wales.

The game is far from over however; it will be some time before the fat lady can commence her aria.  There are still many hurdles for the project to overcome, not the least of them being the unanswered questions about how it will be funded.  The official line about no public subsidies for new nuclear is simply not credible; without subsidies, whether hidden or open, there will be no new build.
At a time when most of the rest of the world is turning its back on nuclear stations (well, uranium-powered ones at least), it’s hard to believe that any project run by a company whose own country has turned its back on the technology will actually come to fruition.
There is a real need for jobs on Ynys Môn, but there is a real danger in the apparently unqualified welcome given by many politicians to this scheme.  That danger is, simply, that they will count their chickens too soon and take their eyes off the ball, if that’s not mixing too many metaphors.  Assuming that these jobs are ‘in the bag’ would be the greatest disservice that anyone could do to the people of the island, since if (or when, as I tend to believe) the project collapses, there would be no plan B.
People should be vary careful about believing the siren voices of the short-termists who seem to be claiming that the island’s problems are about to be solved.


Cibwr said...

Well I am highly skeptical about the jobs, how many will actually be local? And after construction - if every built - how many local jobs will be in the power station? The type of reactor has not been approved, no idea of the cost or level of subsidies - lots of politicians saying how wonderful it is - typical jam tomorrow and damn the consequences. I think its essentially a huge con trick.

Glyndo said...

"how many local jobs will be in the power station?"

Um, all of them?

Peter Freeman said...

I'm not against nuclear power as such but I live on the Pacific rim. Grave concerns are being raised about the effects of Fukushima. Sea water is being used to cool the reactors but the effect of this on the whole Pacific ocean, with radioactive detritus drawn out to sea, is a danger to the whole planet.
The folly lies in developing nuclear facilities without the technology to respond effectively when things go wrong. Chernobyl is still a no-go area after all these years and the Japanese government are unable or unwilling to answer many direct questions about Fukushima.
Some things are more important than the possibility of getting a job. First we need the technology to make certain these facilities can be safely handled before the whole of Wales and maybe even the UK becomes a no-go zone.

Anonymous said...

Less than 40% and by local they mean uk sourced not Ynys Mon so theres a big difference. What you will actually get is 3-4 thousand cheaper imported labour which could be Asian/Russian eastern European having a significant impact on local infrastructure schools language culture and tourism. The cost to the locality will be immense and of course just one accident and it's buy buy tourism and agriculture for a generation- but hey not as if that's important is it......

G Horton-Jones said...

Was the spokesperson for Hitachi reading a prepared party political broadcast for the Conservative Party
It had all the hallmarks
A request under the Freedom of Information Act might ( not ) get clarification
Hitachi s "commitment" to the UK for one hundred years was surreal