Labour Leadership 2018: Row over nuclear power

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In the first significant policy clash of the 2018 Labour leadership election, Mark Drakeford AM (Lab, Cardiff West) was attacked by the two other candidates for expressing “scepticism” over nuclear energy.

In a Twitter video published following a hustings event in Cardiff, he said that although he didn’t believe the proposed Wylfa B nuclear plant in Anglesey should be scrapped, the impact on local communities should be borne by the developers and not Welsh or local government. He pledged to establish a high-level commission to examine the possible effects of nuclear power developments in more detail.

Vaughan Gething AM (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth) said he was concerned about the impact Mr Drakeford’s “troubling” comments would have on the north Wales economy, while Eluned Morgan AM (Lab, Mid & West Wales) said, “Any indication that the Welsh Government isn’t supportive now could damage the project in the long term.”

Powers over nuclear energy are currently non-devolved and any decisions relating to Wylfa B will be made by the UK Government in London.