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High time to rid Wales of plans for costly, risky Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Leanne Wood: My column in The National two weeks ago argued for a transition away from manufacturing weapons of war to firing up our greeneconomy. Isn’t it also high time we rid Wales of the scourge of nuclear
power and redirect resources into clean, renewable energy? We have that opportunity now. Wales is a nuclear-free zone but for how much longer?

Plans to resurrect Wylfa B are effectively dead, even though some politicians continue to tout the idea. Attention has turned, instead, to the Trawsfynydd site where Rolls Royce is proposing a Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMNR), the latest experiment in nuclear fission technology. Except the old problems of safety and cost of storage and waste disposal haven’t gone away.

The first SMNR to be approved last year in the US was met by fierce criticism from notable scientists, including Professor MV Ramana of the University of Columbia who described the project as “risky and expensive”. Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlighted ‘safety gaps’ in the design. Still
the Welsh Government, with the backing of Westminster, continues with costly feasibility studies.

 The National (Wales) 10th Oct 2021

November 6, 2021 - Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK

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