THE station manager of Aberthaw power station has responded to allegations of health risks at the site, following two recent high profile protests.

Manager, Richard Little said he wanted to address the allegations “head on”.

Demonstrators had gathered at Limpert Bay beach, ahead of a march on the site, to demand the closure of the facility citing health risks on Saturday, January 28.

A contingent from Reclaim The Power also surrounded the offices of RWE npower, in Swindon, on Monday, January 23 in a show of strength against the coal power station.

The group claims the power station,which is just seven miles from Barry, produces dangerous toxins and is causing catastrophic climate change.

The group claimed that pollution from Aberthaw power station was responsible for an estimated 400 deaths per year and that Aberthaw was Europe’s dirtiest power station.

Aberthaw was previously ruled to have repeatedly breached nitrogen oxide limits after the UK government was taken to the European Court of Justice.

Mr Little said that this is an issue the plant - which will be downscaling its operations from April to only generate electricity during the winter and at times of high demand – is working to address.

“We are investing £5 million in technology that will significantly lower the station’s NOx emissions," he said.

“This will signal the end of Welsh coal deliveries to site, which given our joint history is highly disappointing.

“We will also reduce our generation levels, meaning that there will be job reductions across the site. This is all to ensure that we can produce power when needed, whilst complying with emissions standards.

Referring to the protests Mr Little said: “It is very difficult for me and the staff at site to read reports of health-related illnesses and deaths, allegedly caused as a result of our operations; especially as we make health, safety and environmental performance our number one concern.

“The claims being made by Friends of the Earth and Reclaim the Power are flawed and are based on inaccurate reporting of data.

"The false claims are being used emotively to raise fear amongst the public and discredit the vital role Aberthaw power station plays in ensuring security of electricity supply for the UK.

“The reality is very different - over a 14 year period of monitoring local air quality, both SO2 and NOx concentrations have been significantly below the relevant EC and UK Government Standards.

“I would like to thank the local community for their continued support.”