Boris Johnson announces plans to build new nuclear reactor at Trawsfynydd in conference speech
Boris Johnson has used his speech at the Welsh Conservative party conference to announce that a new nuclear reactor will be coming to Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd.
“Today I can tell you that we’re looking to build another small modular reactor on the site at Trawsfynydd,” he said, describing it as “fantastic news”.
It comes after the UK Government confirmed last month its intention to push ahead with a nuclear project at the Wylfa site on the island of Anglesey.
Trawsfynydd is already the site of one Magnox nuclear power station that was decommissioned in 1991.
The reactor at Trawsfynydd will be built as part of a partnership between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Welsh Government’s Cwmni Egino.
Welsh Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government established Cwmni Egino to ensure that the full potential of the Trawsfynydd site could be realised, helping to boost the economy of the wider area.
“I’m pleased to see this further development with the cooperation with the NDA, which is good news for the site.”
In a statement following the announcement, Alan Raymant, CEO of Cwmni Egino, said: “Our relationship with NDA and Magnox is critical to the successful delivery of our vision for the development of new nuclear at Trawsfynydd.
“This collaboration agreement provides the foundation for a fruitful partnership that will bring benefits to the local community and help deliver the Energy Security Strategy.”
Cwmni Egino is a development company wholly owned by Welsh Government, established to drive future development at the Trawsfynydd site and to promote regional economic and social regeneration.
The NDA site at Trawsfynydd is home to a Magnox station which is being decommissioned by Magnox Ltd, a subsidiary of the NDA.
UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Our ambition for a British nuclear renaissance means a bright future for nuclear power in Wales, not only securing clean, affordable, homegrown energy but also jobs and investment at sites like Trawsfynydd.
“We remain on track to realise our plan to approve eight new nuclear reactors by 2030, transforming the UK’s energy network and revitalizing decommissioned nuclear sites.”
Dylan Morgan from People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) responded to the announcement to say that Boris Johnson was just “shooting from the hip”.
“All his bluster about possible new nuclear reactors displays an astounding level of economic and environmental illiteracy,” he said.
“Firstly, where is the strong economy coming out of Covid and post Brexit? No nuclear companies will go it alone and invest heavily in building new nuclear reactors.
“As in the case of Rolls Royce and their modular reactor which isn’t small at all at 475 MW, bigger than the old Magnox reactors at Trawsfynydd, they want government public handouts for designing the reactors, more astronomic handouts financed through our already vastly inflated electricity bills to construct these radiotoxic monstrosities, and then even more handouts for an agreed price for electricity produced, and last but not at all least, the massive decommissioning costs over thousands of years of reactors and all the problems with storage of hazardous nuclear wastes.
“There is little wonder that no corporations have come forward in droves to get a nuclear renaissance much promised from the Blair/Brown era going.
“Labelling Wylfa and Trawsfynydd as possible new sites for this most dangerous, dirty, radiotoxic, health-threatening and expensive technology is an insult to the people of Wales.
“It is the totally wrong path to tread and it may be the case that Johnson will not be in office for too long to realise his madcap nuclear ambitions.”
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