Letter David Lowry: I was extremely concerned to read that Rolls Royce, who lead a consortium wanting to use Wales a guinea pig nation for its experimental Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) told your chief reporter, Martin Shipton that they would pose no security problems. This is dangerously misleading in several ways. In a very detailed 70-page paper I presented at the annual very pro-nuclear European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) in Bratislava in Slovakia in June 2018, I set out the specific security vulnerabilities of SMRs. The participants from several countries wishing to develop SMRs and backed by several prospective vendors of SMRs took on board my concerns. Indeed, despite the strong nuclear-supportive leanings of ENEF, its final declaration included the following statement recording that the forum: “Highlights that larger scale introduction of small modular reactors introduces new questions, including the increased risks for malevolent attack when reactors are more widely geographically spread, and increased risks for nuclear proliferation, ” and added, “Safety and security specificities related to several units operated simultaneously in the same plant should be carefully analysed.” In light of such international caution on SMR, I am worried that senior Welsh politicians – especially from the otherwise nuclear-sceptic Plaid Cymru – such as its current Parliamentary leader, Liz Saville-Roberts, and former leader, Lord Wigley, are still uncritically cheerleading for SMRs. Why is Rolls Royce so dismissive of the very real, and possibly unresolvable, security risks for Wales of proposed SMRs, when it is clear even others who are pro-SMRs, such as the UK Government and SMR lobbyists within the EU, accept there are serious security questions to be addressed?
Wales Online 2nd March 2020 read more »