Sean Thompson reports
Campaigners from Welsh anti-nuclear groups will march the 44 miles from Trawsfynydd to the Eisteddfod at Boduan next month in support of a nuclear free Wales and against plans to site the new generation of Small Modular Reactors that are under development at the decommissioned nuclear plants at Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd and Wylfa in Ynys Mon (Anglesey).
The march will arrive at the Eisteddfod on August 6 and a rally will be held there.
The march to the Eisteddfod site will take four days and along the way participants will run stalls, distribute leaflets, and host film screenings as part of their protest against new nuclear projects being developed in the north of Wales.
March organiser Sam Bannon from CND Cymru said: “In collaboration with People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) and the Society for the Prevention of Everlasting Nuclear Destruction (CADNO), this action will demonstrate our opposition to the rehabilitation of this unsafe, costly, and antiquated form of energy production that distracts from the goal of zero net carbon emissions and contributes directly to the production of nuclear weapons.
“In CND Cymru, we recognise the need for a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels. And so, in showing our opposition to SMR’s, we are also advocating for a green new deal for Cymru. Harnessing the power of our abundant natural resources using truly sustainable means and investing in energy storage technologies, would without any doubt be cheaper, quicker, and safer as well as creating considerably more employment for people in Wales.”
The marchers have the support of Welsh Nuclear Free Local Authorities, who oppose both the proposals for Trawsfynydd and Wylfa and the Westminster government’s plans to develop 24 gigawatts of nuclear power generating capacity in the UK by 2050.
The marchers have the support of Welsh Nuclear Free Local Authorities, who oppose both the proposals for Trawsfynydd and Wylfa and the Westminster government’s plans to develop 24 gigawatts of nuclear power generating capacity in the UK by 2050. Councillor Sue Lent from Cardiff, Chair of the NFLA Welsh Forum added: “Nuclear projects are notorious the world over for being delivered very late and way over budget. Bechtel and Westinghouse have been involved in the development of two new reactors at Vogtle in Georgia. Construction there started in 2009, yet only this year will both reactors come on stream, and the project is being delivered at a cost approaching US$30 billion (£23 billion), over double the original budget.
“Wales has wind and rivers, and a long coastline. Imagine what could done with £23 billion, if it were invested not only in a national programme to insulate every home in Wales to the highest standard to reduce fuel consumption and energy bills, but also in renewable energy technologies to generate and store clean sustainable electricity from wind turbines, micro hydro-electric schemes, and from wave and tidal power projects, drawing on the natural resources with which our nation is blessed?”
“Instead of nuclear, we want to see investment in Wylfa and Trawsfynydd so they can be transformed into sites of engineering excellence for the development and deployment of renewable technologies and storage solutions.
“Wales can derive a lot more electricity far more quickly and at much less cost, without creating ugly new nuclear power plants that contaminate their environment, operate at risk, and leave a costly legacy of deadly radioactive waste in their wake. Let’s do this – let’s keep Wales nuclear free.”