We, along with partners, have been engaging extensively for over 3 years to advocate for better protection measures for the natural environment from the impacts of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station on internationally designated sites, coastal waters and the freshwater environment. Our key concerns include potential impact on the Anglesey terns SPA (Special Protection Area) and Cemlyn Bay SAC (Special Area of Conservation), including our Cemlyn nature reserve. Impacts will be from both the construction phase, and long-term consequences to the nature reserve’s shingle ridge, saline lagoon and breeding tern colony from the building of the new harbour (MOLF – Marine Off-Loading Facility).
We also recognise there will be impacts on the environmental quality of several marine and terrestrial waterbodies under the Water Frameworks Directive from the building of the new harbour and impacts on hydrologically dependant freshwater habitats at Tre’r Gof SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) by earth mounding and the construction of the 4,000 workers site campus within 20m of the SSSI boundary. The Wildlife Trust is committed to supporting non-carbon based energy sources, but the environmental consequences must be weighed against a realistic analysis of all costs and a firm policy framework.
NWWT are extremely disappointed to hear that the government are having ‘behind closed doors’ commercially confidential discussions with the Japanese promoters of the scheme on the funding of Wylfa Newydd construction. This goes against the government’s stance of not subsidising nuclear power station construction and in the context of an uncertain future of the nuclear industry globally. In policy terms, the government are out to consultation on an update on their energy policy EN-6 and have been criticised about the economic costs to the British tax payer, over-run and deliverability of the Hinckley Point C EDF scheme. It is also widely acknowledged that the economics on non-carbon energy supply in the UK is improving the viability of other energy sustainable sources. Additionally, the local Council have also expressed considerable concern about the local community impacts of the scheme as recently as April 2018.
NWWT feel that decisions on subsidising the Wylfa Newydd scheme should not lead to the government changing their policy and propping up a scheme, which has so many unacceptable environmental consequences and shifts the political goal-posts, when other less environmentally damaging and sustainable methods of energy production maybe being overlooked. In relation to Wylfa Newydd, NWWT feel that the wider environmental costs and risks are unacceptable and the current financial negotiations lend credence to the view that the scheme appears not to be viable in other more critical areas. It is the Wildlife Trust’s view that Wylfa Newydd should not be allowed to proceed when the financial security of the scheme is in question and full details of the compensation packages or alternatives to deal with the environmental impacts have not been properly addressed or secured. Decisions on the environmental and financial risks should not be made behind closed doors, without more extensive balanced public & political debate.