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Anti-nuclear campaigners raise fears about Trawsfynydd mini-nuke test bed plans

14 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station across the lake. Picture by William M. Connolley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Anti-nuclear campaigners have raised fears about a plan to turn Trawsfynydd into a test-bed for a new generation of mini nuclear power plants.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority which owns the Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant site has signed an agreement with the Welsh government’s development company, Cwmni Egino, to share information on how best to redevelop the site.

Cwmni Egino chief executive Alan Raymant has said that they are focused on installing one of a new generation of mini nuclear reactors developed by Rolls-Royce, with an aim to start on the work by 2027.

But anti-nuclear campaigners CND Cymru, Cymdeithas y Cymod, CADNO, and PAWB have released a statement opposing the plans and backing renewables instead.

“Wales is already a net exporter of electricity, and the investment into true renewables like wave, wind, tidal, and sun will be much more effective than the billions washed down the nuclear drain,” they said.

“We jointly call on the NDA to reconsider its support of nuclear development in Wales, and Trawsfynydd and Wylfa in particular, and further call on the UK and Welsh Government to invest in the green, clean, and renewable future of wave, wind, and sun that we all deserve.”

Last month anti-nuclear campaigners have protested against plans for new nuclear power stations to be built in Wales with a 70-mile march across Gwynedd and Anglesey.

‘Serious’

Plaid Cymru Gwynedd Council leader Dyfrig Siencyn is among those to have backed the plans for a new reactor at the nuclear power plant, which employed 500 people when in operation between 1967 and 1993.

“There’s quite a strong anti-nuclear lobby, and they have been demonstrating recently; we received a petition from them as a council,” he told the Telegraph newspaper.

“But I think we need nuclear energy if we are serious about addressing the climate change emergency.”

Cwmni Egino chief executive Alan Raymant said that a mini nuclear reactor was a “near term option”.

“Is it feasible to do a small modular reactor development on the site?” he asked. “If so, what might it look like?”

Alastair Evans, corporate affairs director at Rolls-Royce SMR, added: “Rolls-Royce SMR has publicly targeted several locations in the North West and north Wales, including Trawsfynydd, as sites for the first in a fleet of SMRs – a sovereign nuclear technology with the potential to provide clean, affordable power for generations to come.”


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Wales being Whitehall’ nuclear test bed should sound alarm bells. But yet again we see infrastructure only built in Wales if & when a project is beneficial to England. And those mini-nuclear facilities suggested on the former site of Trawsfynydd will bring very little employment and we take all the risk.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

Nope. Don’t want it. Mark Drakeford’s “insurance policy” Union is going to turn our beautiful nation into a wasteland

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago

UK government is committed to the insanity of nuclear energy because they are even more committed to the greater insanity of nuclear weapons. The military programme depends on expertise transferred from the energy programme that they will force us proles to pay for through our electricity bills.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 month ago

Float solar panels on much if the lake and surrounding area. Nuclear us old redundant and overv expensive plus it lasts for a long time the old reactor buildings are still an eyesore.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

To a cubist; perfection…How would Handel Cromwell Evans have handled a Traws landscape? See the Aber Uni School of Art, Handel Evans Collection…

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

What makes me worry is that Plaid Cymru Gwynedd Council leader Dyfrig Siencyn is among those to have backed the plans for a new reactor. There is no place for building new nuclear power stations in an independent Wales. It will not make Wales energy independent. Can’t you see that it is a plan to tie Wales further into the UK as a colony. Plaid Cymru should oppose re-colonisation of Wales. It will NOT create more jobs. If we want to export electric power for cash then Wind Power is the solution and that is what Wales is never short… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

Yes, and the building is big enough to build wave power machines such as those being developed down in Milford. Wales has plenty of waves so there is huge potential for exploiting it with no radioactive waste. The fact that there is still a rail link to the site would kake it easy to bring in and take out large bits of equipment and product.

If mini-nukes are required then why not build them where the power is required – anywhere around the M25 for example.

Meilyr Tomos
Meilyr Tomos
1 month ago

I’m serious about climate change.

Being ‘serious’ generally requires the use of facts and figures. personally I’d rather heed the warnings of people like like Amory Lovins than any elected representative, past or present.

“ Modern renewable generation keeps rising faster than nuclear output ever did in its 1980s heyday. During 2010–20, renewables reduced global power-sector carbon emissions 6x more than coal-to-gas switching (ignoring methane escape), and 5x more than nuclear growth.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Meilyr Tomos
max wallis
max wallis
1 month ago

Most nuclear energy goes in heat, to be wasted in heating Traws Lake. Put it near a town or near Cardiff Bay where they can link it via a heat-grid to users, incl. Welsh Govt. Why does “sustainable” Wales continue with the EU exemption of nuclear from energy-efficiency? Why does “anti-nuclear” Adam Price agree to Labour kow-towing to English nuclear ambitions?

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