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People in Wales living next to new nuclear power plants could get free electricity under UK Gov plans

28 Mar 2022 3 minute read
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Annika Haas (CC BY 2.0). Wylfa Power Station. Picture: Andrew Woodvine (CC BY-SA 2.0)

People in Wales living next to new nuclear power plants could get free electricity, under plans by the UK Government.

A Government Cabinet minister said that free energy was being considered to compensate residents living close to nuclear plants as part of a “green” strategy to wean Britain off gas and oil.

Wylfa on Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd are currently being mooted as the locations of new modular reactors created by a Rolls-Royce led consortium.

US nuclear company Westinghouse has also put together a consortium with construction group Bechtel to revive plans for two nuclear reactors at Wylfa since Hitachi, a Japanese conglomerate, abandoned their own plans in 2019.

The plan for free electricity was signalled by Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary.

He told the Telegraph newspaper: “We have seen great examples of other countries where they built a nuclear power station and within a certain radius of that power station people get free power, so it’s right to look at innovation, to make sure we wean ourselves off hydrocarbons.”

Asked if free energy bills were an option, a source said: “Yes, but long term. We’re looking at how communities can benefit from new infrastructure.”

‘Dirty’

Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie has also been enthusiastic about the plans, describing herself in the House of Commons as “the Atomic Kitten”.

However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be less enthusiastic given the cost to the taxpayer of financing such huge projects that would not be operational for decades, with a target of meeting the UK Government’s ‘net zero’ goal by 2050.

The Chancellor wants to bring down spending in order to be able to cut taxes before the General Election which is expected to be in 2024.

More nuclear power at Wylfa is not without its critics with campaign groups CADNO and PAWB among the local opposition.

Writing for Nation.Cymru, Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) warned that “nuclear power is a dirty, outdated, dangerous, vastly expensive technology which threatens both human and environmental health”.

“It would also steal much-needed resources from renewable technologies which are cheaper, much quicker to build and more effective to combat the effects of climate change.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price also spoke out against nuclear power over the weekend, calling it “the wrong answer” to Wales’ energy needs.

We do not support nuclear power. It’s the wrong answer. Renewables absolutely is the way to go. And I fear that, you know, nuclear power, very expensive and unnecessary distraction,” he said.

However, speaking on Sunday Politics Wales, UK Government Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said that a new Wylfa would be “transformational” for Wales’ economy.

“I think we’ve moved along a lot further than we have ever been, as far as I can remember anyway, in recognising the need for large and smaller-scale nuclear,” he said.

“This would be one of the most transformational things on the north Wales economy than any of us will have ever experienced. And actually what this has indicated is the government has not lost sight of that.

“Those kinds of initiatives remain absolutely fundamental to the economic fortunes of people across the whole of Wales let alone Wylfa.”

The original Wylfa power station became operational in 1971 and started decommissioning in 2015.


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adopted cardi
adopted cardi
8 months ago

Let’s have a Nuclear Power station in Hyde Park instead.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
8 months ago

And higher rates of cancer.

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
8 months ago

So will the self styled ‘atomic kitten’ Virginia Crosbie be volunteering to store the deadly poisonous waste it will produce in her back garden? 🤔

Richard 11
Richard 11
8 months ago

… to compensate them for what?!! This is the government openly admitting what they have denied for decades – that licensed emissions of radioactive dust are dangerous.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 months ago

A free Geiger Counter for everyone on Ynys Mon…I got a proper soaking on a Powys hillside when the ‘hard rain’ fell on Wales after the Chernobyl explosion…Russia and China do like to keep secret any global public health concerns, don’t they…but if you read up about ‘Operation Grapple’ the West were just as bad, ask UK, US, NZ servicemen and Aussie first nation and Pacific Island peoples…

Last edited 8 months ago by Mab Meirion
Argol Fawr
Argol Fawr
8 months ago

Simon Hart…. Snake oil merchant, 3rd rate. As are the rest of his political clan…. Whether your for or against nuclear power.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago

I didn’t know you could convert radiation into free electricity, sounds a touch risky to me.

David
David
8 months ago

Free electricity for every home (NOT 2nd homes) in Cymru.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago

How lovely. No need to heat your homes, Boris says. Live next to a Nuclear Facility in Wales and you’ll radiate your own. Don’t see the Conservatives offer similar sweeteners to families living below thousands of tons of coal slurry teetering on top of mountains thanks to the years of mental, physical and environmental abuse by Westminster, oh no, its suffer the consequences and you will have to pick up the bill, not us. So this is the Tories idea of Welsh investment & infrastructure build. Instead of vanity & ego projects favoured for England , It’s taint Wales with… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Y Cymro
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Traws power station used to glow green at night…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Point in motion. I rest my case. ☢️ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
8 months ago

Roll Up! Roll Up! Fonwysion!

Get your free dose of radiation, here!

Gareth
Gareth
8 months ago

This is just a bribe to persuade locals not to oppose the plans for Ynys Mon, would I trust this lot, hell no. They promised electrification of our railways, only to go back on their word, then take our money to build HS2, just to rub our noses in it. As the manic street preachers said, “if you tolerate this your children will be next”.

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