Speakers at the launch, held at the National Assembly, included report author, independent nuclear engineer John Large, Assembly Members Mick Bates (Liberal Democrats) and John Griffiths (Labour) and Dylan Morgan from PAWB (People Against Wylfa B/Pobol Atal Wylfa B).
Wylfa nuclear power station is currently closed following the discovery of defects in welds in the pressure vessel containing the nuclear reactor. Plant operators British Nuclear Fuels Ltd , are planning to reopen the reactors without repairing the welds. Instead, they want to fit 'restraints' which would limit rather than prevent radioactive discharges in the event of an accident.
In his presentation Mr Large highlighted the potential catastrophic consequences of defective welds inside the nuclear plant and the ageing and deterioration of other vital reactor components.
He also highlighted ongoing deterioration of the reactor system as the inevitable result of ageing, including:
- The cracking of plates around pipework from the reactor boilers;
- The corrosion of steel components inside the reactor, in particular the "core restraint garter" which surrounds the core of the nuclear reactor;
- Corrosion or loss of volume in the graphite core of the reactor.
At the launch Mr Large argued that the inevitable deterioration of these components mean it is increasingly difficult to predict what might happen in an accident. He stated that the 'worst case scenario' accident for Wylfa is in fact far more serious than has previously been admitted by the NII.
He concluded that if Wylfa is allowed to re-open, a failure of the welds and the weakened reactor components could combine to result in uncontrolled, large-scale releases of radioactivity.
Mr Large also criticised regulation of nuclear safety regime by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) as secretive and lacking in rigour.
Greenpeace is launching the report at the National Assembly because of the interest that the Assembly has in issues of nuclear safety. A nuclear accident could have a serious impact on the environment, economy and the health of people in Wales. Officials for the Minister for the Environment have regular, formal meetings with the NII, but information on the discussions is not publicly available .
The report launch is part of a campaign to keep the reactors closed which is supported by other Campaign Organisations in Wales . The campaign is demanding that the National Assembly ensures that all information on nuclear safety is made public, and that the Minister for the Environment should ask the NII to keep the reactors closed.
Report author John Large said,
"I am very surprised to learn that the NII are allowing BNFL to proceed with what I can only describe as an expedient bodge job. The NII are allowing BNFL to fit an external restraint system which does not address the fundamental problem of cracks in welds of a safety critical component of the reactor system. If any one of these safety systems should fail, the resulting intrusion of tonnes of superheated steam into the reactor will considerably test the core restraint system. It has been known that these systems are subject to ageing and strength degradation since the reactors were commissioned in 1971".
He continued, "Like the NII, I consider there to be a great deal of uncertainty about the state of the reactors, but unlike them, I would not consider allowing it to restart".
Assembly Member Mick Bates said,
"The Assembly must play a greater role in nuclear safety especially in view of our commitments to sustainable development, which means an increasing focus on renewable energy."
Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Opposed to Wylfa B) said,
"There is deep distrust in Wales of nuclear safety at Wylfa. Our recent campaigning has shown widespread public support for an end to this nuclear threat. Wylfa should be shut for good".
Greenpeace Campaigner Bridget Woodman said,
"BNFL wants to play Russian Roulette with human health and the environment. Wylfa's ageing reactors should be shut down now, not patched up and run until a major nuclear accident occurs. The National Assembly - and the Minister for Environment in particular - should demand to know why the NII is letting BNFL proceed with its dangerous re-start plan".
 Review of Ageing Processes and their Influence on the Safety and Performance of Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, John Large, Large and Associates.
 Who own and operate the station through their Magnox Electric subsidiary
 On 8 march 2001, Sue Essex, Minister for Environment, stated that "My officials have regular and frequent contact with both [the NII and the HSE]. The most recent formal meeting was held at the National Assembly on 21st November 2000 and covered briefing on the current situation at Wylfa".
 The campaign is supported by PAWB (People Against Wylfa B/Pobol Atal Wylfa B), a group based on Anglesey, WANA (Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance) and CND Cymru.
Greenpeace Press Office on 020 7865 8255