Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Facing two ways at once

I agree with those campaigning against the dumping of ‘nuclear mud’ off the cost of Wales that we should not allow Wales to become a dumping ground for waste created by others.  There’s some question over the extent to which the waste is, in fact, radioactive, but whether it is or isn’t is irrelevant to the question of whether we should be accepting it or not.
We need to be wary, though, of double-edged swords.  If the starting point is that a country or territory creating toxic (including nuclear) waste needs to find its own method of disposal within its own territory, then it follows that anyone supporting the construction of a facility likely to create such waste must be willing to retain and dispose of the waste created once that facility is completed and operational.  Assuming that the waste is a problem for ‘somebody else’ to resolve is simply hypocrisy.
In Wales, and in the case of nuclear waste, this is a particular problem for Plaid.  Whilst some members of the party are actively campaigning against the dumping of mud from Hinkley off the coast of Wales, others are openly arguing for the construction of new nuclear power stations in Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, without ever seeming to say anything about what happens to the radioactive waste which will be produced.  But if it is wrong for England to dispose of its problem in Welsh waters, it is surely equally wrong for Wales to assume that the waste arising from any new nuclear power stations in Wales can simply be exported – whether to England or to anywhere else.
Those who support the construction of new stations – and I include in that category those who try to argue that extra facilities built on new sites are somehow not ‘new’ at all – need to be prepared to explain to people how and where they intend to dispose of the waste.  Anything else is just dishonest.


Anonymous said...

But Rhun ap Iorwerth has tried to have it both ways ... yes to Wylfa B but no to retaining any of the waste on Anglesey.

Another political career in ruins?

John Dixon said...

As I've said before, the problem Plaid faces isn't about individuals, whoever they may be. And there are more than one of the party's elected members taking different stances on this issue. The problem is one of credibility; when members are free to argue and vote against significant pieces of policy, how do the voters ever know what they are voting for? If the people of Wales were to elect a Plaid-led government, would that government be for, or against, new nuclear power stations? The answer is far from clear.

Spirit of BME said...

Let me just comment on the issue in regard to Plaid.
To those making the decision on a new station or dumping of waste, Plaid is of no consequence, as over the last two leaders they have worked hard on degrading the party to such an extent that the state does not have to deal with them, - Plaid is in fact harmless.
Rhun rather strange stance is also not important, as those making strategic decisions have probably never heard of him, he has no power to veto this, but some underlings may give him a curtesy of a meeting.