Nuclear set to return to Wylfa and Trawsfynydd as Rolls-Royce secures funding for mini-reactors
Nuclear power looks set to return to Wales after Rolls-Royce secured £450m for a venture to build mini nuclear reactors.
Trawsfynydd and Wylfa are understood to be two of the sites being lined up for the multi-billion pound mini-power stations.
Each £2bn reactor is expected to have a generation capacity of 470MW, enough to power 1.3m UK homes. The company hopes to build five by 2031, and then another eleven in the years that follow.
The UK Government have announced that they will match a £245m investment made by a consortium made up of Rolls-Royce, BNF Resources and the US generator Exelon Generation with £210 of their own.
Rolls-Royce has previously said that there was a “pretty high probability” Trawsfynydd could house the first reactor by the early 2030s.
Ministers say that the new generation of small nuclear reactors will quicker and cheaper to build than traditional large-scale nuclear reactors.
Tom Samson, CEO, Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “Rolls-Royce SMR has been established to deliver a low cost, deployable, scalable and investable programme of new nuclear power plants.
“Our transformative approach to delivering nuclear power, based on predictable factory-built components, is unique and the nuclear technology is proven. Investors see a tremendous opportunity to decarbonise the UK through stable baseload nuclear power.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK to deploy more low carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy independence.”
Plans for new nuclear reactors have however already attracted opposition in Wales. Anti-nuclear groups have already criticised the plans, saying that the emphasis should be placed on green renewable energy instead.
Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) said last month: “We have an immediate crisis now. Building huge reactors at a nuclear power station take at least 15 years.
“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“The UK and Welsh governments should divert resources and support away from wasteful and outdated nuclear power projects towards developing renewable technologies that are much cheaper and can provide faster and more sustainable solutions to the energy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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