Steele, Phil

Phil Steele
6 July 2021News

Why the ongoing obsession with nuclear power?, asks Phil Steele

Desperate attempts are being made to resuscitate the fading nuclear dream in North Wales, where the Welsh Labour government is vying with Tory Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, in repeated bids to save the seemingly-doomed Wylfa B power station project.

Possible ‘white knight to the rescue’ options included an unholy consortium of the financially- and morally-bankrupt Bechtel, Southern Company and Westinghouse.

In January, the application by the site owners, Horizon Nuclear,…

9 December 2020News

Phil Steele takes a look at what's been happening in Wales

The pandemic restrictions in Wales meant that from March onwards most peace campaigning took place screen-to-screen via Zoom or Skype.

This, of course, had its limitations, but it did mean that it was no longer necessary – or indeed permitted – to bring people together by making convoluted journeys through the mountains via B-roads or by circuitous train routes.

The Welsh government took a more cautious approach to lockdown than Westminster, but local socially-distanced…

1 December 2018News

Anti-nuke power campaign working with Japanese campaigners

The campaign against two new nuclear reactors at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey is gathering force on several fronts. In the immediate vicinity of the site, local people are beginning to appreciate the vast scale of the development (about the size of Holyhead, the biggest town on Anglesey), the extent of environmental damage involved, the social and cultural impact of the invasion. They’re also beginning to realise that few of the promised flood of jobs will actually be local.

1 August 2018News

Welsh campaigners travel to Japan to meet Fukushima evacuee

In May–June, a delegation from Welsh anti-nuclear group PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) visited Japan (under pro-nuclear PM Shinzo Abe) at the invitation of Friends of the Earth Japan. PAWB has been fighting a 30-year battle against the building of new nuclear reactors on the beautiful coast of Anglesey, North Wales.

After the Fukushima disaster, German owners pulled out of Horizon Nuclear (formed to build nuclear power in the UK) in 2012, and sold it on to Hitachi – so PAWB decided…

31 March 2015News

Japanese ex-PM backs anti-Wylfa campaign

 

Generally, prime ministers and presidents are the last to admit they got something wrong. The sound of Tony Blair saying sorry is the sound of silence. So credit to Naoto Kan, Japanese PM at the time of the (ongoing) Fukushima disaster.

Formerly pro-nuclear, Kan makes no bones about getting it wrong. He came to Wales to warn that Wylfa B, Horizon Nuclear’s proposed plant in Anglesey, would be a terrible mistake.

During the last few years members of anti-nuclear group PAWB (…

25 September 2012News

The latest moves in the opposition to the troubled Wylfa B nuclear power plant.

The 'China syndrome' is a 1970s term for a catastrophic reactor meltdown into the earth's crust – 'all the way to China'. As the new Chinese bid for the proposed Wylfa B nuclear power station is considered, the phrase may bring to mind another scenario – a catastrophic meltdown of democratic accountability, because democracy and transparency are the first casualties of the drive for 'new nuclear'.

The sudden departure of the previous operators, Horizon, from the troubled project…

1 March 2012News

From Hinkley Point in Somerset to Wylfa in the far north of Wales, the campaign against a new generation of nuclear power stations is heating up day-by-day.

    Photo: PAWB

About 300 demonstrators braved the rain and gloom of a January Saturday afternoon to march through the streets of the small market town of Llangefni, on the Isle of Anglesey, in order to express their support for the Jones family of Caerdegog. These determined farmers are refusing to allow their land, which has been in their family for about 300 years, to be grabbed by Horizon Nuclear.

The broadening of support shown in the march was significant. As well as local…

1 December 2011Feature

It's too early yet to say post-Fukushima, says Philip Steele.


Dan Viesnik outside the Japanese embassy, London, 2 November. One World, No Nukes delivered a petition to stop the shipping of contaminated rubble from Fukushima to Tokyo. PHOTO: Kick Nuclear

Post-Fukushima, did I hear you say? Eight months later, we should still be speaking of the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster in the present tense. After the earthquakes, after the tsunami, after the explosions, after the triple-meltdown, after the massive…

13 August 2011Feature

On 15 February 2003, over one million people marched against the Iraq war in London. This amazing total was the result of hard work by thousands of local organisers. Here is one story from Bangor, north Wales.

The phone never stopped ringing. There were coaches to be booked, of course, but many callers simply wished to talk, to share their feelings and concerns and to discuss this rush to war in Iraq. Even ex-servicemen called in to express their support.

February 2003 was a remarkable period in British political history, when progressive public opinion was raw, even desperate, and contempt for UK and US government policies was at an unprecedented level.

Labour’s drive to an illegal…

1 July 2011Blog

<p><em>PN</em> invited activists from around the movement to record what they were doing when Peace News turned 75. &nbsp;Our birthday was on 6 June 2011.</p>

Looking back, looking forward

So Peace News was first published on 6th June 1936.  6th June was also, as it happens,  the date of  other momentous events – the D-day landings in 1944, the publication of  George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, the bombing of Haiphong during the Vietnam War in 1972.

2011 seems to be a year of  significant anniversaries: 75 years of Peace News… 50 Years of Amnesty International…  and good grief, very nearly 10 years  of…

3 October 2010News

A new nuclear power station is planned for Wylfa, on the northernmost coast of Wales on the Isle of Anglesey.

At the last general election, the only parties opposing nuclear new build on Anglesey were the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru. We all know what happened to Chris Huhne and the Lib Dems, but anti-nuclear campaigners have been keen to see how Plaid’s policy would shape up, as Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones (assembly member for the island) had long been ambivalent on the nuclear issue in contravention of his own party’s policy.

At Plaid’s annual conference in Aberystwyth in September, a…

1 July 2010News

In response to the murderous Israeli Defence Force attack on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza, Bangor and Ynys Môn (Anglesey) Peace & Justice Group were quickly into action.

On 1 June, the group visited Waitrose in Menai Bridge. More than 20 activists turned out to support, a very respectable number for an area like ours.

We began at 3.30pm by handing out boycott flyers, which were well received with almost all shoppers…

3 June 2010News

It’s the time of year for festivals again, and through the weekend of 16-18 April visitors to the old farm buildings of Neuadd Hendre, near Bangor in Gwynedd, could enjoy top Welsh bands, listen to the edgy and moving stand-up comedy of Ivor Dembina and eat fantastic Palestinian food, while camping in the spring sunshine with panoramic views across the Irish Sea. But this was a festival with a difference. It had an agenda – Palestine.

The Bangor to Bethlehem international…

3 December 2009News

A new report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) details a chronic culture of neglect at nuclear decommissioning sites across the UK. This includes the Wylfa A station on the north coast of Ynys Môn (Anglesey). This culture of neglect does not inspire confidence in the new push for nuclear power.

As I write, the government’s e-auction, for the sale of land on which nuclear new-build is planned, is already under way. Included in this land grab is the site for a new Wylfa B…