New Wylfa will cost £14-17bn to build and won’t be ready until 2030s
A new Wylfa will cost between £14 and £17bn to build and won’t be up and running until the 2030s, the UK Government have been told.
Sources told the Times newspaper that the 2.3-gigawatt plant would take six years to build, on top of a lengthy planning and regulatory process, meaning that it would not be operational until the early years of the next decade.
Westinghouse and Bechtel, the reactor maker and engineering group, are hoping to win UK Government backing for their plan to build two reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey.
Their AP1000 reactor design has already completed initial safety approval for use in Britain.
However, Bechtel were hoping to secure £20m from the UK Government before being able to provide a full breakdown of the total costs of the project.
Ivan Baldwin, head of the UK civil nuclear market for Bechtel, told the Times that this taxpayer funding would enable the developer to “provide to the government an estimated project cost” and “to determine the optimum construction schedule at the site”.
Hitachi, of Japan, currently own the rights to the Wylfa site after giving up on their own plans to build a nuclear power plant there.
Boris Johnson has used his speech at the Welsh Conservative party conference last week to also 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”.
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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