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Builders of potential new Wylfa and Trawsfynydd nuclear reactors want faster progress amid energy price spike

12 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Wylfa on Anglsey. Picture by Reading Tom (CC BY 2.0)

Rolls-Royce are appealing to the UK Government to speed up the process as they seek permission to build a new fleet of ‘mini’ reactors as the UK faces an energy price spike.

Both Wylfa and Trawsfynydd in Wales have been discussed as possible sites for reactors but they are not expected to come online until the 2030s, while energy prices soar due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other issues.

UK Government sources told the Telegraph newspaper that the new reactors must go through exhaustive safety checks, but that Rolls-Royce were frustrated with the lack of progress.

The Welsh Government-funded body Natural Resources Wales will be among those assessing the designs by Rolls-Royce.

A Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy spokesman said: “Small Modular Reactors offer exciting opportunities to cut costs and build more quickly, ensuring we can bring clean electricity to people’s homes and reduce our exposure to volatile gas prices.

“While Small Modular Reactors do not yet exist, countries across the world are racing to develop the technology. Rolls-Royce has confirmed SMRs will be available to the UK grid in the early 2030s and we are working to their timeline, having already committed £210m of government funding.”

Rolls-Royce has raised about £500m to develop the Small Modular Reactors (SMR) reactors, winning investment including £210m of taxpayer funding and money from the Qatar wealth fund.

The company aims to develop a reactor that can be produced in the hundreds in a factory, with the aim to start producing them by the 2030s and selling them for £1.8bn each. Every reactor will be able to power a city larger than Cardiff.

The plans for the new nuclear reactors have already attracted opposition in Wales from Anti-nuclear groups who are calling for the emphasis to be placed on green renewable energy instead.

Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) said last year: “Nuclear power is slow, dangerous and extortionately expensive. It will do nothing to address the current energy crisis, neither will it be effective to counter climate change.

“The UK and Welsh governments should divert resources and support away from wasteful and outdated nuclear power projects towards developing renewable technologies that are much cheaper and can provide faster and more sustainable solutions to the energy crisis and the challenges of climate change.”


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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago

Why not divert the money into the tidal barage scheme off the North Coast? That will/could bring pollution free electricity much quicker and will not leave highly dangerous radioactive waste at the end of its useful life.

Mr Brown
Mr Brown
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Would it not be better sited of the east coast. Far more effective.

Mr Brown
Mr Brown
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Brown

Even off

Argol Fawr!
Argol Fawr!
2 months ago

That’ll never happen. Consider all the Klingons who depend on a living by dragging out the process!

max wallis
max wallis
2 months ago

Needled in PM Questions, Starmer declared “I am pro-nuclear”. Welsh Labour the same and Plaid is muzzled. So don’t expect a democratic decision with account to economy or Welsh interests.

Richard 1
Richard 1
2 months ago
Reply to  max wallis

Drakeford’s position is influenced by his Trade Union backers. He should reconsider that position now that he has such a high personal standing

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Trade union bosses consult their members?

Richard 1
Richard 1
2 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

How would I know? My union never consulted me

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago

I have already written to my MP (Tory) about why the UK Government is allowing Qatar, a known and notorious sponsor of terrorist groups, to play a role in our energy sector. No reply so far ……

Last edited 2 months ago by Mr Williams
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Qatar sponsors terrorism. That is well known. Why on earth would the UK Government allow them to play a role in, and make money off, our energy sector?

I can’t understand why other politicians haven’t picked up on this.

Can anybody enlighten me??

Last edited 2 months ago by Mr Williams
Pyrite
Pyrite
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

They are the UK’s trade, economic and defence buddy in the Gulf. On top of that they are a major ‘Petrostate’ with a Sovereign wealth fund and that ‘sanitizes’ all other aspects of their activities….from UK’s point of view.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
2 months ago

“Appealed to the UK Gov.” says it all.

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