Aberthaw 'Earmarked as Nuclear Station Site'

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Byline: By MARTIN SHIPTON Western Mail

Consultants working for the UK Government have earmarked Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan as a potential site for a new nuclear power station, according to an industry source. Last night the Department of Trade and Industry said there were no plans to build any new nuclear power stations. 'We are conducting an energy review. The review is to see whether there should be a nuclear element to Britain's energy plan, and it would be a bit odd to identify sites for nuclear power stations at this time.'

But the industry source told the Western Mail, 'There is a document in existence which identifies Aberthaw as a suitable location for a nuclear power station. It's an academic exercise which looks purely at the technical case, without considering the political impact.

'From a technical point of view, Aberthaw would be an ideal site. There is an existing conventional power station there with good communications and infrastructure.'

Energy is not a devolved issue and any decision relating to the construction of new nuclear power stations would be taken by the Westminster government.

Nevertheless, Conservative Assembly leader Nick Bourne has failed in a bid to have disclosed to him details of discussions that took place last year between Assembly Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies and UK Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks.

A request made by Mr Bourne under freedom of information legislation was rejected on the grounds that it would 'cause substantial harm to its [the Assembly Government's] relationship with central government'.

Mr Bourne said, 'It is obvious from the portcullis I have come up against that there have been discussions about nuclear power in Wales. It is a matter of regret that the Government is choosing not to disclose them.

'This silence is clearly going to cause great concern to people in Wales as it is obvious that the Government has something to hide. …