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OPINION/WALES: Nuclear power battle builds; Campaigners vow to fight plan for Wylfa.


CAMPAIGNERS last night vowed to fight any plans to build a new North Wales nuclear power plant.

The UK Department of Energy may pinpoint Anglesey's Wylfa site as the base for a new reactor, alongside the present station.

Objectors said any such plans were fraught with danger, and would be challenged as vigorously as during the campaign against Wylfa B in 1989.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks was considering whether to press ahead with building new power stations.

A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry said last night: "There are currently no plans for a nuclear power station in Wales.

"There is a review under way and we will publish the results of that in the summer."

Last month, the prime minister said "difficult and controversial decisions" would have to be taken by the government on nuclear energy.

Wylfa's current reactor is due to be decommissioned in 2010, but is seen as a favourable site for future development because of the infrastructure already in place there.

But one leading North Wales anti-nuclear campaigner said every thing would be done to prevent such a development going ahead.

Dylan Morgan of People Against Wylfa B (Pawb) said: "It took Thatcher nine years to realise nuclear energy is not economically viable. It should take Gordon Brown only nine minutes.

"It is far from inevitable that this will go ahead, because Blair will have a real fight on his hands with objectors in his own cabinet and his own party.

"There is also a strong consensus of opinion within the Welsh Assembly which will make it difficult for this to happen.

"I can't see it happening. There would be fierce campaigning again. Back in 88-89, when we led objections to Wylfa B, we got 50,000 names on a petition from across Wales. I can see that happening again."

Mr Morgan said he was led to believe Wylfa was the fourth preferred option for a new power station, after Sizewell C in Suffolk, Hinkley Point in Somerset, and Hunterston in Scotland.

He added: "I was laughed at when I asked in 1989 what would happen if a plane flew into a power station.

"I was told it would never happen. But look at it now."

Fears were also expressed that the new generation of power stations, the AP1000, was not tested.

Since energy supply is not a devolved matter, the Assembly would be limited in its powers to stop such a proposal going ahead.

Two weeks ago, Welsh secretary Peter Hain publicly declared he did not want to see another nuclear power plant in Wales.

Hugh Richards of the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance said, "Opposition to this will be implacable and united, will encompass members of all political parties and will prevail.

"If the government seeks to pursue this course, I have no doubt the campaign would involve civil disobedience."


The existing Wylfa nuclear power plant which is due to be decommissioned in 2010
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 31, 2005
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