Irish Government Urged To Press UK On WYLFA Operating Extension

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

IRISH GOVERNMENT URGED TO PRESS UK ON WYLFA OPERATING EXTENSION

The Celtic League has urged the Irish government to press the United Kingdom to publish the `safety case’ for the extension of the Wylfa nuclear power plant (see below).

Wylfa nuclear plant has had a chequered safety record over the years and the decision to extend its operations poses a threat to Irish sea communities.

The operating extension is not only questionable on safety grounds. Four years ago the United Kingdom Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said it was “simply totally uneconomic” to extend the plant’s life for a further two or four years (beyond 2010), as was being proposed at that time.

“An Taoiseach
Department of the Taoiseach
Government Buildings
Upper Merrion Street
Dublin 2

13/10/10

Dear Mr Cowen

Ref: Wylfa Nuclear Power Plant – Extension to operating life.

Given the comment by the RPII following a visit to Wylfa nuclear power plant in 2007 that:

“The design of the Wylfa plant, while safer than some of the older UK nuclear power plants, does not incorporate all of the safety features of more modern reactors”

is the Irish government concerned about the news that Wylfa is to have its operational life extended?

The relevant Irish government departments and agencies will be aware that this plant has had a chequered safety record over the years.

In 2003 the plant had to unexpectedly shutdown both reactors for eighteen months, following safety concerns.

The troubled plant had also been at the centre of safety concerns a decade earlier when in a serious nuclear power station incident a refuelling crane collapsed on the reactor core. A subsequent enquiry, by safety regulators, resulted in a quarter of a million pound fine to the operators for what is generally believed to be the most serious safety issue to befall the UK nuclear industry since the Windscale (Sellafield) fire in the 1970s.

In 2000 the Celtic League revealed that there had been no less than 30 unplanned or emergency shutdowns at the twin reactor site over the preceding decade. This led us to call for the release of similar information for other plants, a call resisted initially by the HSE, who eventually provided the information sought.

Can I ask if the Irish government will be making representations to the United Kingdom urging it to make public the safety case for the operating life extension and also urging that the safety case is validated by independent nuclear agencies?

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)”

There is a vast amount of Wylfa related material in the Celtic News archives to access simply type Wylfa into the search box.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

13/10/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
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