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Plan for new nuclear reactors at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd a step closer as Natural Resource Wales looks at designs

08 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station across the lake. Picture by William M. Connolley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Plans for new nuclear power stations at Trawsfynydd and Wylfa have taken a step closer after the UK Government asked government regulators to assess designs for the reactors.

Natural Resources Wales will be among those assessing the designs by Rolls-Royce, with both Wylfa and Trawsfynydd have been named as potential sites for housing them within the UK.

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.

Tom Samson, Rolls-Royce SMR chief executive, said entering that process was another major milestone towards its goal of deploying a fleet of small nuclear reactors that can produce affordable, low carbon electricity.

“The UK regulatory process is internationally recognised and respected. We welcome the scrutiny and challenge that goes into the assessment of our nuclear power plant design,” he said.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, said that it was a “significant step” in bringing the SMRs into existence.

Trade body the Nuclear Industry Association said: “This is a vital step forward for British nuclear technology. The UK needs the Rolls-Royce SMR to strengthen our energy security and cut our dependence on gas as we move toward net zero.

“The SMR can also play an essential role in enhancing British industrial capability, creating tens of thousands of jobs, revitalising the nuclear skills base and boosting the green economic recovery.”

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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Morris Dean
Morris Dean
2 months ago

Ych a fi, dim niwclear diolch

Grayham Jones
2 months ago

Only if it’s run by welsh people only not incomers so all the money stays in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Lionel Schwarz
Lionel Schwarz
2 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

It’ll be run by whoever can run a nuclear plant safety wherever they are from and whatever colour their skin. And there will be nothing you can do about it.

a “new wales” is already here. And your opinions aren’t part of it, big man.

Daffyd Hughes
Daffyd Hughes
2 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Another pro welsh crank, there’s a big world out there maybe get involved in it ?

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
2 months ago

Why are Natural Resources Wales involved in the UK Govt’s dubious plans to put a dirty dangerous nuclear power station in Wales? Nuclear power is categorically not a natural resource! Natural Resources Wales should be working with the Welsh Govt and local authorities in Wales to develop more much needed renewable energy schemes in Wales.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago

NRW should really be standing against this Colonial Style project to put in Wales the manufacture of machines whose effluent is exceedingly dangerous for a rediculously long time. The old nuclear sites could be much better utilised if that much funding was spent on expanding the work of Marine Energy Wales who are developing wave energy machines. That energy can be obtained from wave action has been known since before Thatcher closed down the leading Scottish research programme. There are a range of technologies available so all we need to be doing now is investing in building and installing them.… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
2 months ago

Nuclear is not low carbon. At 66 grams CO2 per kilowatt hour is almost as bad as gas and coal fired. And it’s only a few months ago that a new research centre was announced to START BUILDING. They need to complete that to BEGIN looking at energy flows within SMRs! Where is it up to???

Kurt C
Kurt C
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Net zero gave it away, such an awful lie

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago

‘…. and money from the Qatar wealth fund’.

Qatar – a known source of funds for terrorist groups and the UK government is allowing them involvement in our energy sector? Do they never learn?

Evidence: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg26427/html/CHRG-115hhrg26427.htm

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/qatar-sent-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-to-terrorist-group-report-670212

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/11/high-court-hears-claims-qatar-officials-intimidated-terror-case-witnesses

I hope the Welsh Government will strongly object to this.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I have emailed my MP (a Tory) about this. Nation.Cymru, let me know if you would like me to forward his response when I get it.

Steve Heaney
Steve Heaney
2 months ago

There will be no “energy security” while energy production is in private hands and they can sell it to whoever they like.

Kurt C
Kurt C
2 months ago

We don’t need them, we export most of our electricity right now. Failed policies again, dragging us backwards.

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