On Thursday night I attended the latest public consultation exercise on Wylfa B, held at Cemaes Bay Village Hall, where two representatives from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) were present to consult and answer questions.
The meeting was well attended with over 60 persons in the audience -- including a small but vocal contingent from PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) who made clear their ongoing opposition to the plans to construct a second nuclear plant in Anglesey. They questioned the safety of on-site storage for spent waste (DECC response: new innovative storage methods now mean that waste would only need to be held on site for decades, rather than previous estimates of around 160 years); the costs to Anglesey taxpayers of having to support enhanced emergency services (DECC response: Horizon will pay business rates which will cover these services -- the example was given of Sizewell B which pays around £25 million per annum in business rates); Where the uranium will come from (DECC response: Australia); and other questions relating to largely to terrorism and ecological concerns.
There were also a very large number of pro-Wylfa B supporters in the audience, and later statements in support of the new plant -- including one from Cllr Aled Morris Jones, the chairman of Wylfa SSG -- resulted in loud cheers and applause.
I am a strong supporter of Wylfa B (and C, D, E, etc.) -- however, I would like Ynys Môn to have its cake and eat it too. Therefore in order to preserve the natural beauty of the rest of the island and ensure we can continue to grow our tourism industry, it is essential that National Grid is pressed to transmit the electricity generated by Wylfa B via marine cable rather than via the cheaper option of building further pylons across the island. National Grid will need to carry out a seperate consultation and planning application when they announce their plans (date unknown) however in the meantime I will be contacting them to ascertain their plans and press them to consider using marine cables.