Nuclear Capitalism and the Welsh State

From Planet 237

by Dan Evans

Dan Evans argues that the global nuclear industry is now deeply enmeshed with the Welsh Government and local elites. He traces how Wales’s ruling party U-turned to championing an industry which creates devastating risks to our planet. What does this say about Wales’ relationship with international capital?

Mark Drakeford was elected leader of Welsh Labour, and by default Wales’ new First Minister, in December 2018. Running as an ostensible leftist and ‘Corbyn supporter’, he comfortably beat the Blairite Vaughan Gething and the vacuous Eluned Morgan.

One of the flashpoints of an otherwise painfully dull campaign involved nuclear power. During a leadership hustings in Newport, Drakeford, a longtime opponent of Trident, appeared to come out against the proposal for a second nuclear power plant in Anglesey (otherwise known as Wylfa B or Wylfa Newydd). In a transcript of proceedings, Drakeford said:

‘I said to Eluned in an earlier debate that her belief that nuclear power is somehow an advantage to the environment: tell that to the people in Chernobyl, tell that to people in Fukushima…You may not like it, but you wouldn’t like it if you were living there either, and being told this was the way that your environment will be safeguarded for the future.’
Sign in to read more
Subscribe here