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Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Plaid dilemma

Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate policy in a UK context, especially when the legislative and administrative competence for decisions quite properly lie with Westminster as with defence, foreign affairs etc but the impact of those decisions will be felt on the position of a devolved legislature. Misunderstandings occur and people make mistakes.

However, when differences are confined to the boundaries of one devolved nation and amount to the leadership of a particular party being openly opposed to the position taken at their conference and in their manifesto then it becomes much more noticeable.

Thus, the unlikely alliance of Ieuan Wyn Jones and Dafydd Elis Thomas to promote nuclear power must really rankle with those in their party who worked so hard to get Plaid Cymru to adopt an anti-nuclear stance.

In the party's 2005 general election manifesto, Plaid said it "does not support new nuclear power stations, particularly as civil nuclear power fuels nuclear weapons development; is heavily subsidised; and cannot safely dispose of the highly toxic waste".

Its 2007 assembly election manifesto said while Labour had confined itself to wind farms in a limited number of area, Plaid pledged to "bring clean secure energy to communities across Wales by supporting a range of alternatives including marine power, micro generation and fuel cell technology".

Yesterday, Dafydd Elis Thomas publicly backed a new reactor for Wylfa B on Anglesey.

Honest disagreement of course is fine but surely Plaid Cymru should now stop trying to pretend that it is an anti-nuclear party.
Does this make Plaid (amongst other things) IMBYs ?
Well, we've got so many people being NIMBYs as far as wind turbines go, what other means are there REALISTICALLY of generating electricity?

Coal - produces greenhouse gases, so it is very unlikely to have any more coal fired powerstations in Wales, solar power is out of the question, you've got to have "Sun" for that to generate electricity. Wave and Tidal is something of a non-started due to not enough energy and effort to develope this technology.

Which just leaves Nuclear, one suggestion for a new Magnox reator (or two) would be the former Corus sites at Newport and Port Talbot.
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