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CND has welcomed the announcement that Hitachi, the Japanese company planning to build a new nuclear power station on Anglesey in north-west Wales, has completely withdrawn from the Wylfa Newydd project. Hitachi also announced it would not be building a second plant at Oldbury in Gloucestershire. This is a massive victory  for anti-nuclear campaigners, especially local campaigners PAWB (People Against Wylfa-B/Pobol Atal Wylfa-B).

As CND has long argued, the increasing failure to find investors willing to prop up the UK’s nuclear power industry demonstrates the economic absurdity of the government’s continued championing of the technology, especially as renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner to produce. CND calls for an end to the production of nuclear energy – a technology that is dirty, dangerous and economically unsustainable. Nuclear power burdens future generations with a potential human and environmental disaster that is not compensated for by the expensive electricity produced.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND, commented:

“This decision by Hitachi to pull out of building the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station is not unexpected. Over the past few years, we have seen nuclear power projects in the UK crumble as the economic reality sets in.

“With the expected construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station estimated to cost well over £20 billion, the economic superiority of renewables over nuclear has been recognised even by the government. Last year, the former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, confirmed that nuclear power is difficult to finance as ‘new sources of power become cheaper and more abundant’.

“But cost is not the only reason to oppose nuclear power. Both the nuclear power industry and the nuclear weapons industry share a common technological basis and remain inextricably linked. There is a danger that more nuclear power stations in the world could mean more nuclear weapons. And there is still no safe, long-term solution for dealing with the large amounts of radioactive waste produced.

“This announcement is an opportunity for the local authority, Welsh and UK governments to draw a line in the sand with Wylfa Newydd and instead invest and develop renewable energy projects. Many more jobs can be created by the renewable sector than by nuclear power. It’s time to embrace the technology of the present and future, rather than remain stuck in the past.”