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Public consultation launched on permit for work on site of former nuclear power station

11 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station. Photo by Roj is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

A public consultation has been launched for an environmental permit variation for a former nuclear power plant in Gwynedd.

Nuclear Restoration Services Limited (NRS) has submitted the application to Natural Resources Wales to change its environmental permit for the former Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station site which closed in 1991 and is currently being decommissioned.

As part of the application NRS (formerly Magnox) is proposing the demolition, infilling, and capping of the Trawsfynydd Ponds Complex, a set of buildings running alongside the two reactor buildings.

A four-week public consultation is now running until August 6 so members of the public can comment on the application.


The cooling ponds and adjoining storage vaults have box-like below-ground structures with void spaces up to six metres deep with a total volume of around 5,000 cubic metres.

The proposed demolition of the above-ground concrete structures of the ponds complex will result in slightly radioactive, mainly broken concrete, filling the void space.

The material will then be closed in – a process known as “capping”.

National Resources Wales (NRW) will be consulting with experts in Public Health Wales and the Office of Nuclear Regulation throughout the application, which must meet safety and environmental standards if it is to be approved.


Martin Cox, Natural Resources Wales’ Head of Operations for North West Wales, said: “We understand this permit variation is of particular interest to the public and local community and we are encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the formal part of this consultation.

“As the regulator for this application, we are committed to keeping the community and environment healthy.

“As part of our determination of the application we must be satisfied the proposed demolition, disposal and capping is done in ways that are safe and meet our standards for the protection of people and the environment, while allowing the site to be released from radioactive substances regulation in the future.

“We are anticipating a lengthy determination phase for this application, and we will be keeping the public informed throughout.”

Trawsfynydd was a twin reactor power station located in Eryri National Park and was the only nuclear power station in the UK to be built inland.

Construction commenced in 1959, with both reactors operational by 1965.

Electricity generation came to an end in 1991 and defueling was completed by 1997 – with fuel elements removed from the site and transported to Sellafield for reprocessing.

You can take part in the consultation and view documents related to the application here.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 days ago

The green illumination of the reactor buildings was a ghostly sight before they capped the ponds…

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