Anglesey council chiefs back nuclear power station plans
Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Chief Executive, Dylan J. Williams, has welcomed the UK Government’s plans to build a new nuclear power station on the island.
His comments came after the government’s new energy strategy was unveiled yesterday, including proposals for eight reactors – the equivalent of one a year – to be delivered by the end of this decade.
Wylfa on Anglesey is one of the first three sites named by the Westminster government, along with Sizewell in Suffolk and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.
According to reports earlier this week, two American companies, Westinghouse and Bechtel, are involved in developing the scheme on Anglesey which could see two reactors constructed on the site of the decommissioned Wylfa Newydd plant.
Another Welsh site, Trawsfynydd, has also been identified as a potential location for one of the small modular reactor being developed by Rolls Royce but construction there is not expected to get under way for several years.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart is expected to visit one of Westinghouse’s nuclear power stations during an official trip to the USA later this week to advance plans for the new power plant.
Dylan J. Williams, Anglesey county council’s chief executive said: “There now appears to be real impetus within the UK Government to bring new nuclear to Wylfa, as part of a secure future energy mix which would reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and meet net zero targets.
“It is vital, of course, that we take lessons learnt from our experiences of past nuclear development on Anglesey and ensure that they positively influence future plans.”
“We remain committed to hosting a nuclear power station on Anglesey on the condition that it delivers long term transformational benefits – in terms of local jobs, supply chain opportunities, and prosperity for our communities and residents.
“Respecting the Island’s communities, safeguarding the Welsh language and culture and Protecting the environment as well as a commitment to meaningful public engagement remain important red lines.”
“We are ready to continue to collaborate with the UK Government to develop and deliver the new Wylfa project. The Council’s previous experience of working on a nuclear project and our understanding of the Island and its communities need to be fully utilised.”
He added, “Having previously worked with Horizon Nuclear Power, who were behind the proposed Wylfa Newydd project, we also have a strong indication of the significant economic and community benefits that new nuclear can bring a community. Any future development at Wylfa must bring major and long-term socio-economic benefits for our Island and communities.”
Anglesey’s Head of Regulation and Economic Development, Christian Branch, added, “Our priority now will be to continue to engage with both UK and Welsh Government, potential developers and regional stakeholders to ensure that Wylfa is at the forefront of their thinking.”
“A new nuclear power station at Wylfa has the potential to transform the economy of Anglesey, particularly the north of the Island, and the whole of North Wales. It would be a significant enabler to create substantial jobs and supply chain opportunities for generations to come.”
“However, we are also very mindful that the voices, needs and concerns of neighbouring villages and towns of the host community must be taken fully into account throughout the development of the Wylfa project.”
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