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Prime Minister and Chancellor backing plans for new nuclear power plant in Wales

26 Sep 2021 3 minutes 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)

The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have backed plans for a new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK, including one on Anglesey and possibly another in Trawsfynydd.

It was revealed on Friday that the UK Government are in talks with reactor manufacturer Westinghouse to build another large-scale multi-billion pound nuclear power plant in Wales.

There are also separate talks with Rolls-Royce who are eyeing Trawsfynydd as the possible site of a small modular reactor.

The Prime Minister now sees it as essential to the government achieving its 2050 net zero targets as well as his levelling-up agenda, the Sunday Times reports.

The new Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is said to be keen on the idea, amid concern about rising energy prices and the fact that nuclear will only provide 8% of the UK’s energy by 2024. He now has the Prime Minister’s backing for the plan.

In an energy crisis meeting on Friday morning the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, also made clear that he thought nuclear facilities should play a more prominent role in the UK’s future energy policy.

A source close to Sunak told the Times: “His general view is that we should have been doing this ten years ago, when it was cheaper, but we can’t rely on wind and solar power.”

It comes as a Whitehall source said that the current energy crisis had woken the government up to the dangers of not planning ahead.

Downing Street said: “It [nuclear] is very much on the agenda. We don’t really have any option. We need to get moving if we’re going to hit net zero and ensure energy security.”

The project is also being promoted by Welsh Secretary Simon Hart. Projects over 350MW in size are reserved to Westminster and can be pushed through without the Welsh Government’s consent.

‘Dangerous’

Dylan Morgan, Co-ordinator for anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, reacted furiously to the discussions with US reactor manufacturer Westinghouse to build a new facility on Anglesey.

Dylan Morgan said: “We have an immediate crisis now. Building huge reactors at a nuclear power station take at least 15 years.

“For example, EdF are involved in building their EPR at Olkiluoto in Finland. Construction started in 2005 with the boast it would be completed by 2009.

“It still hasn’t been completed in 2021. 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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John Davies
John Davies
27 days ago

If nuclear power is so safe, why not build a new generation of reactors in the south-east of England? Given the extremely uneven economic development of the UK, that is where a lot of the consumption is, so building the reactors on the doorstep would minimise transmission losses. Perish the thought that Wales is being used to dump developments too toxic for the Thames Valley.

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
27 days ago
Reply to  John Davies

Sizewell and Bradwell are both pretty close

hdavies15
hdavies15
27 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Dean

In which case expand in that area as that is where there is a supply “deficit”. Wales is generating enough juice for its own needs, and some more, although I would like to see less dependency on the current style of wind power. We could build something different to harness wind and wave, export the surplus and still get by without turning ourselves radio active !

j humphrys
j humphrys
27 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I have now seen small windturbines on wooden poles in Scandia, for farms. Unobtrusive, practical, economical, what’s not to like?

Last edited 27 days ago by j humphrys
John Davies
John Davies
27 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Dean

Bradwell is 60 miles from London and Sizewell over 100.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
27 days ago

Beware of Tory venture capitalists without a shred of social responsibility bearing radioactive gifts…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The old saying. ‘Beware of Greeks baring gifts’ is apt.

Maybe we should create a new one. If a Tory offers you a sweet. Run like bloody hell.

Last edited 27 days ago by Y Cymro
Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
27 days ago

It is probably Tory trash talk but Cymru should be a nuclear free independent country we have enough of our own resources not to have these nuclear waste spewing monstrosities in our country.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
27 days ago

“The project can be pushed through without the Welsh Government’s consent”….and there you have it! To Westminster Wales is a colonial outpost – they think they can ignore our own democratically elected govt and do what they like in Wales 😡. With these outrageous proposals Westminster is doing what british govts have always done – exploit Wales and ignore Wales! The question is for how much longer are we in Wales going to put up with this untolerable state of affairs? When are we going to stand up for ourselves?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Correct. The Tories thanks to New Labour, retain power over large scale projects. They can, as done with the LNG pipeline driven through Wales to Gloucester, force it without consent from either our Senedd or the people & communities affected.

Grayham Jones
27 days ago

Not in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 build them in England stop being little Englanders in wales it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Selwyn
Selwyn
27 days ago

For all those who support the Nukes and want an Indi Wales, can you come up with proposals as to where in wales we’ll bury the nuclear waste?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago
Reply to  Selwyn

It’s like saying. Wales should alone deal with all the s**g heaps & coal tips created by Whitehall & Westminster during their exploitation of Wales. Although you are correct to highlight the problem of where to house the decommissioned spent fuel rods & Nuclear material? But are you inferring Wales should shoulder the complete responsibility for an industry placed by Whitehall on our doorstep? If you are, must re-evaluate your thinking on the matter. See, if an independent Wales would have to shoulder part of the £2 Trillion & rising National Dept, Whitehall should take part-responsibility of decommissioning any Nuclear… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Y Cymro
Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
27 days ago

England’s rubbish dump.

Carl Iwan
Carl Iwan
27 days ago

There’s a certain amount of fatigue and déjà vu when I hear of talks between UK govt. and US Westinghouse nuclear. It’s important to recall, the ill-fated construction of Westinghouse nuclear reactors in the US at South Carolina. They came to an abrupt end in the summer of 2017, several months after Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy under the weight of delays and cost overruns, with then Westinghouse Electric Company Senior Vice President charged with conspiracy and fraud in 16-Count Federal Indictment. On August 18, 2021, a second Westinghouse official was charged in a federal grand jury indictment filed with the… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
27 days ago
Reply to  Carl Iwan

Quite so, PAWB part of our DNA.

R W
R W
26 days ago
Reply to  Carl Iwan

Very interesting. It doesn’t sound like Westinghouse is fit to build a birdhouse let alone a nuclear power plant!!

j humphrys
j humphrys
27 days ago

One wonders what RT Davies feels about Strontium 90 poisoning, as he seems terrified of “transformer radiation” which is but featherweight in comparison?

Mark
Mark
27 days ago

and this is why Wales will never gain independence, the inglish government need to generate a lot of electricity for all these electric vehicles we will be forced to use, while airlines continue to receive massive tax concessions on aviation fuel and shipping continues to burn what is effectively crude oil, 1 container ship produces the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars, worth thinking about

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago

And as said many times. If it benefits England, but taints Wales, will be built. And advocates of those largely environmentally damaging projects often state the numerous employment benefits, where in reality those facilities are usual built by outside contractors , in areas sparsely populated, and when completed only retain a small workforce. The Tory policy of “out of sight out of mind” where Nuclear facilities are tucked away on the fringe Britain far away from the leafy SE of England. This evident with Wylfa in Ynys Mon and Trawsfynydd in one of Wales National Parks that was built in… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Y Cymro
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
27 days ago

It is good to see the cafe by Traws lake open again, lovely spot to go with the smashing cake…I remember sitting on the knee of a D9 bulldozer driver and working the levers when they were putting the new dam in and I was there for the official opening…
It was a shop from Barmouth that supplied the carpets and curtains as I recall…

Last edited 27 days ago by Mab Meirion

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