In a period of biting austerity, it is very worrying to hear about the plans to set up a nuclear research centre at Bangor University. We underdstand that the £6.5 million project is being funded by European and Welsh Government money supported by Hitachi and Horizon. The first question Welsh taxpayers need an answer to is how much the Welsh government are squandering on this unnecessary and outdated project.
Secondly, when and how was this investment decision made? It is obvious that politicians and their civil servants in Cardiff Bay have not read the World Nuclear Industry Status Report published in September this year, which outlines the international decline of the civil nuclear industry. Where China was starting 10 new nuclear projects in 2010, this year they have not started any new nuclear construction at all. Indeed, the only new nuclear project anywhere in the world this year is in India.
Renewable energy technologies are galloping ahead with prices falling sharply. The price of offshore wind is now almost 50% cheaper than the totally unreasonable price we will have to pay for building and operating two huge new French reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Politicians at all levels from County Council to National Assembly and Westminster need to be challenged to wake up to the reality of the international energy market and to realise that nuclear power is a failed, dirty, dangerous, health threatening and extortionately expensive technology. It is sad to see that Bangor University wants to promote this outdated technology.
It would be so much better to invest in a research centre for promoting all the various renewable technologies which are available None of those technologies produce toxic and long lasting poisons as the nuclear industry does which are threats to very many future generations.
The World Nuclear Industry Report 2017 was published on September 12, 2017 and can be seen online.