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Developers confirm plans for small modular reactor at former Trawsfynydd power station site

11 May 2023 3 minute read
Trawsfynydd power plant

The company behind plans to develop the former nuclear power station in Trawsfynydd has completed its first phase of development work confirming plans for a Small Modular Reactor at the site

Development work undertaken by Cwmni Egino has established that land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) could be suitable for a range of SMR technologies with the potential to generate up to 1GW of electricity.

The existing nuclear station at Trawsfynydd, which at its peak employed over 700 people, closed in 1993 and decommissioning has been ongoing since 1995.

Cwmni Egino was set up by Welsh Government to promote economic and social regeneration for any future development at Trawsfynydd.

SMRs at Trawsfynydd could create over 400 jobs in the local area and over £600m for north west Wales and £1.3bn for the whole of Wales during over an operational life of 60 years.

It would also create jobs during the construction stage, as well as through the Welsh and UK supply chains.

Cwmni Egino is aiming to be the first SMR project approved by the UK Government with construction starting before the end of the decade.

Alan Raymant, Cwmni Egino Chief Executive said: “In addition to meeting our energy needs and net zero targets, deploying SMRs at Trawsfynydd offers a huge inward investment opportunity for Wales. This is aligned with key policies and priorities of both the UK and Welsh Governments.

“We believe that Trawsfynydd presents the first, most credible opportunity to kick start a long-term programme of SMR projects in the UK, and catalyse significant economic growth locally, regionally and nationally. Cwmni Egino provides a development vehicle to drive this forward.

“Our plans are more advanced than other sites suited to small scale nuclear, and the work we’ve done over the past 12 months gives us added confidence that we can successfully deliver a project at Traws.

“We have already put in place a 5 year development programme which means our project can be ready for approval by the latter part of this decade – in line with the UK Government’s energy security ambitions.”

Technology

The company is yet to select a technology partner for the project, and wants to work with Great British Nuclear (GBN), the recently formed UK Government body.

Alan added: “We’ve already been in discussions with a number of technology providers and there is significant interest in deploying SMR at Trawsfynydd. We will work closely with GBN over the coming months to confirm the technology solution that best suits Trawsfynydd within the overall selection process for the UK.

“The other key area of focus for us now is to secure Government commitment to the next phase of the project. In particular, we need confirmation that Trawsfynydd is one of the projects GBN wants to be developed. This will give us the certainty that we need to unlock this opportunity and access additional development funding.”

Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “It’s great news Cwmni Egino has completed the first phase of its work at Trawsfynydd and that genuine progress is being made towards realising the company’s ambition to begin deploying small modular reactors on site by the end the decade.

“We established Cwmni Egino in 2021 so it could lay the groundwork to achieving significant socio-economic benefits for North West Wales and to ensure it achieves this, it’s vitally important Great British Nuclear now engages meaningfully with Cwmni Egino so Trawsfynydd is formally selected as the first SMR site in the UK.


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Richard 1
Richard 1
9 months ago

This puff piece fails to consider the inevitable emissions of inhalable uranium dust particles. Researching the four UK environment agencies I have found that they have no idea how much of this kind of stuff is already in the environment from weapons tests and previous nuclear power stations. Recent correspondence shows the agencies have no idea of the actual performance of filters. There are no data for discharges of radioactive dusts; the UN published that information up to 1997, showing every operating NPS in the world discharged trillions, but since then there is only silence.    In correspondence about the… Read more »

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
9 months ago

Nuclear power. No thanks. Dim Diolch.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
9 months ago

Wales doesn’t need nuclear power, we can get by perfectly well with renewables.

This is being built for the benefit of England (and the south east of England at that) so build it in the Home Counties.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Kiss goodbye to independence…

Mature Lady
Mature Lady
9 months ago

No Vaughan, its not ” great news”. Mid Wales has the high and conmmensurately high rates of cancers and thyroid disorders. We do not want new nuclear at Trawsfynydd.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
9 months ago

According to research from Stamford University in the USA and the University of British Columbia in Canada, small modular reactors produce more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants.

Chrisbusby
9 months ago

The basis for SMRs is the risk model for radiation induced cancer of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, which in turn is based on the epidemiology of the Hiroshima survivors. The epidemiology was dishonest and failed to take into account the Black Rain. The result is that at some point, probably soon. all these SMRs will fail the legal limits for exposure and will be banned. The second thing is that the same new regime will apply to the radioative waste disposal. And finally, these reactors are badly shileded and produce huge amounts of Carbon-14. The result will be… Read more »

Pete Wilkinson
Pete Wilkinson
9 months ago

Firstly, SMRs are not exactly ‘small’. They are roughly the size of a 400 Mwe Sizewell A Magnox reactor. Secondly, the impression given is that they can be churned out of a factory on a conveyor belt for siting on every street corner. This ‘small and versatile’ impression is wrong: the design is still a concept, the problems associated with SMRs are just as real as are the problems with Hinkley Point C or Sizewell C – planning consent, generic design assessment, regulatory approval, local opposition, waste creation, waste storage, terrorism threats, cooling issues, local contamination issues of land, sea… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago
Reply to  Pete Wilkinson

The Bay have made their minds up, and as one who got soaked as the Chernobyl rain fell on Cymru I say may it rain curses on their heads, especially you Mr Gething…

Julian Flood
Julian Flood
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Still here though? So maybe not such a soaking.

JF

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
9 months ago

Lacking a large town nearby to Trawsfynydd, wherein waste heat could be utilised in district heating, say, about 40% of the energy will be lost. Plus a further 3% in transmission. Far better these SMRs are located in London close to their point of use and to minimise their losses.

This is another dodo, supported by a dodo Labour Government in Cymru and a wholly incompetent one in Fairyland.

Cymru does not need nuclear – like using a chainsaw to cut butter. It’s a clumsy hostage to the dysfunctional Union and must be stopped.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
9 months ago
Reply to  Neil Anderson

Er, my mistake. About 60% of the fuel energy comes out as waste heat in the cooling water. That puts nuclear down as about as efficient as the best internal combustion engine!

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
9 months ago

A quick glance at the latest FES, ETYS and NOA reports from National Grid, plus the HND, and maybe check with Ofgem too, and they would see that north Wales has no grid capacity available for nuclear in north Wales as it’s all been allocated to offshore wind projects already in progress. Eryri National Park will require buried cables so getting power out of Trawsfynydd will be a nightmare

Peter Mc
Peter Mc
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Dean

The concept of SMR’s comes from the Uk’s submarine expertise and seems to be another excuse to build nuclear. In the UK: but we don’t need nuclear at all. We are fortunate to have enough wind , solar and tidal. The uk is even thinking of going ahead with another EDF designed reactor at Sizewell. The true cost of nuclear is not even known but it far exceeds any of the renewable. The UK still has no secure geological storage for the high level waste from previous military and civil nuclear processing. Renewables have none of this cost and are… Read more »

M D
M D
9 months ago

I hope it is not a 3rd generation SMR, but advanced nuclear — molten salt power generation: no greenhouse gases, no explosions, no meltdown risk, no fuel dependence on conflict regions (so long as you dont use HALEU dependent systems), burns nuclear waste rather than creating it (!), passive “walk-away” safety, small and modular (reactor fits in a shipping container); industrial-scale standardized production (goal is to have product lines that each build one reactor a week), providing industrial heat for green steel etc, and when at scale can be cheaper than all fossil fuels and renewables (2-5 cents per kWh… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
9 months ago
Reply to  M D

As Robat Idris says below, Rolls-Royce is one of the leaders in this and they admit SMRs would benefit their work on nuclear weapons. I have long thought San Stephan’s enthusiasm for “civil” nuclear is a way of hiding the military costs while still foisting those costs on the public.

Robat Idris
Robat Idris
9 months ago

Dim angen niwcs a’i holl beryglon. Gallai digon o waith gael ei ddarparu drwy ddefnyddio ynni adnewyddol a rhaglen insiwleiddio tai – a hynny ar unwaith, nid “efallai” ac “ymhen blynyddoedd”. Dim sôn yn yr erthygl am wastraff ymbelydrol hen ddatrysiad o sut i’w waredu. Dim sôn na fydd niwcs ar gael mewn pryd i wneud gwahaniaeth yn y frwydr yn erbyn newid hinsawdd. Dim sôn mai Rolls-Royce yw un o’r ceffylau blaen, a’u bod yn cyfaddef fod manteision i’w gwaith ar arfau niwclear yn deillio o SMR. Dewch a Cwmni Egino a orfodwyd arnom i ben, a sefydlwch gwmni… Read more »

Bethan
Bethan
9 months ago

This Welsh enviro grad says, ‘not advisable’.

wayne jones
wayne jones
9 months ago

A very big mistake was made in accepting a policy of long term onsite storage of nuclear waste in Wales . A new power station at Traws will only add to the heap being dumped lakeside with consequential funding problems in the future for it’s interim and long term management . I think we have all realized by now that a hole in the ground for nuclear waste is simply not going to appear , so we will be stuck with it – something that was never meant to happen . Short-sightedness on the part of anti-nuclear reps in Wales… Read more »

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