Radical political analysis, commentary and discussion in Wales
Dadansoddiad a thrafodaeth radicalaidd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru
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Wake up, we're about to be nuked

With much of south Wales in the blast zone of Hinkley Point nuclear power station, and plans afoot to build a new generation nuclear plant on the site, Stop New Nuclear is planning a mass trespass on the new  development site. There will be a protest camp from the 5th-9th of October with demonstrations on the 6th, and a "Reclaim Hinkley" day of action on the 8th.

As of April 2010, the UK has nearly 5,000,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste, (nearly 150,000 of it in Wales), despite the fact that this waste will never go away, whether more power stations are built or not, we cannot allow this poisonous legacy to be used to justify further expansion. It should stiffen our resolve to never let more radioactive material be created. The plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations provide us with an opportunity to focus our attention on what the legacy we already have means, and how to deal with it. In our transition from an energy abundant world, to one where energy use has contributed to a much reduced carrying capacity, we face some pretty stiff challenges.

In his book “The nuclear life cycle - a cycle in trouble” David Fleming articulates one of the most pressing issues we are faced with: the fact there is not enough uranium left in the earth's crust to deal with the waste legacy the nuclear industry has already created. This means it will most likely fall to fossil fuels to deal with this legacy. This raises some big questions about how much energy is required to isolate this waste from the environment forever, and what will happen if it is just abandoned. This is arguably the course we are on despite the rhetoric from governments and industry. Most of the world's legacy waste is currently sat in wet ponds (the preferred option of the industry, as it is relatively cheap). Very little of it has, as yet, been put into dry casks, which are hugely expensive, but definitely less vulnerable. Even if it is put in such storage it will still need to be constantly monitored and, at some point in the next 200 years or so, eventually repackaged for safety.

Alongside the safety issue there is also the many unethical and polluting uses to which this material is currently put. The nuclear industry produces many isotopes that are used in a multitude of industrial applications. Recently the threat of fracking for shale gas has come to the fore, a process that requires radioisotopes.  Beryllium is another one. This material is both an Alpha and Gamma radiation emitter and it can cause extreme sickness. Other industry insiders see nuclear as essential in the dash to squeeze every last drop of oil out of the earth, and absolutely necessary for the much-vaunted hydrogen economy or other “techno-fixes” that get mooted as the way forward.

Radioisotopes from routine and accidental releases such as Windscale and Chernobyl have been contaminating Wales for years. We must now meet the threat posed by three of the proposed nuclear new build sites Hinkley, Wylfa and Oldbury. Please join us to stop new nuclear in it's tracks with the mass trespass on the development site at Hinkley.

We'd really like people to register for the camp so that we can feed you all, fake names and e-mail addresses are fine. We just need an indication of numbers. We have a newsletter to keep you up to date with our preparations that you can sign up for which is also published on the website. Please bring what you would wish to find. We're also still looking for legal observers, so if you can help, please contact us for more info.