Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ebb and flow at Maentwrog

Most people know the Dwyryd is tidal up to the bridge at Maentwrog; the road is also tidal.

Monday to Thursday sees a stream of vehicles heading west up the Oakeley Drive. Each morning I pour myself a cup of tea, put a saucer over the mug to keep it warm and then take Molly (dog) out to do her toilet. At 06:30 a torch comes in handy.

Red sky in the morning
The darkness all around, with barely a house or street light to be seen, accentuates the headlights of commuters on their way to work at Trawsfynydd. There are probably 50 vehicles going west to every vehicle going east. During construction the nuclear power station employed 750 workers. During its 26 years of generating electricity it employed 240 people per shift. Generating ceased in 1991 and decommissioning has been going on for many years. I knew it was a big employer but was staggered to read that it currently employs 967 people, mainly contractors and 209 local employees who work directly for Magnox.

It’s good to have so many jobs, but who is paying for them? If the average annual earnings were £20,000 the salary bill would be almost £20 million a year.

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