Wales Election 2016

Welsh election: Nuclear issue 'difficult' for Plaid

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Media captionLeanne Wood: 'We've put all our eggs in the nuclear basket'

Opposing nuclear power is difficult for Plaid Cymru, its leader has said, because of the jobs which depend on it.

Leanne Wood told a live BBC TV election special the party was "very clear" in its opposition to nuclear weapons.

But she said in terms of jobs on Anglesey, the nation had "put all our eggs in the nuclear basket" with 6,000 people working at Wylfa power station.

Ms Wood said if a replacement for Wylfa did not go ahead, an alternative source of jobs would have to be found.

Speaking on BBC Wales TV's Ask the Leader programme in Aberystwyth, she said: "Plaid Cymru is opposed to Trident and we've been very clear on the case of opposing nuclear weapons.

"On the case of nuclear power that's a little bit more difficult for us, I will be honest with you. This has not been a straight forward question for Plaid Cymru.

"I'm not personally convinced that nuclear power is the answer and I'm not convinced that it stacks up financially.

"I would prefer us to take more of a renewables-based approach. We've got in our manifesto an aim to meet all the electricity needs in as far as we can in Wales… renewably by 2035."

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Media captionUndecided voters Catherine Moyle and Ann-Marie Butlin give their view of Leanne Wood

Plans are being made for a new power station called Wylfa Newydd to be built next to the old Wylfa plant, which is being decommissioned.

Horizon Nuclear Power, owned by the Japanese giant Hitachi, is still in the process of drawing up detailed plans, which will be submitted by 2017.

Ms Wood denied that Plaid only opposed nuclear power in new locations because it wanted to retain its seat for Ynys Mon, where thousands of jobs are at stake with the replacement of Wylfa.

"It is a difficult issue on Ynys Mon, and the reason is because there have been 6,000 people employed on fairly decent wages.

"Those jobs are going to come to an end, and there has been no plan in place to replace those jobs. We've put all our eggs in the nuclear basket.

"There was a report out just last week that suggested that Wylfa Newydd may never go ahead… if it doesn't go ahead, what happens to those people on the island who will then be out of work?"

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Media captionBBC Wales political editor Nick Servini gives his verdict on Leanne Wood

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