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Reviving Wylfa and Trawsfynydd to be at heart of UK Government’s net zero strategy

16 Oct 2021 2 minute read
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station across the lake. Picture by William M. Connolley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Reviving nuclear power station projects such as Wylfa B on Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd is at the heart of the UK Government’s ambitions to attain net zero carbon emissions by 2035, government sources have said.

The UK Government is expected to reveal its new nuclear strategy in documents to be published next week, alongside a plan for how to pay for the new array of nuclear plants.

US nuclear company Westinghouse is planning to revive plans for a nuclear power plant at Wylfa that was abandoned by Japan’s Hitachi in 2019, and the UK Government has indicated that it is keen to see the plan come to fruition.

Ministers are also expected to back smaller modular reactors which are being developed by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce. One of these is planned for installation in the Trawsfynydd nuclear plant which is no longer producing energy.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary who has been under fire from industry this week due to the rising cost of energy prices, is to unveil the overarching ‘Net Zero Strategy’ paper on Monday.

According to the Financial Times, the strategy will have a “heavy focus” on Britain’s languishing nuclear power programme.

Under the plans, an energy levy on consumers by the UK Government finance the cost of producing the power before the nuclear energy plants are built.

Kwasi Kwarteng has set a target of 2035 to reach ‘net zero’ based on nuclear power, renewables and carbon capture and storage.

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: “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“The UK and Welsh governments should divert resources and support away from wasteful and outdated nuclear power projects towards developing renewable technologies that are much cheaper and can provide faster and more sustainable solutions to the energy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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Arwyn
Arwyn
11 months ago

A UK strategy. Not a Wales strategy. There will never be a Wales strategy in any sphere of UK government. By the way, has anyone yet figured out how to dispose of high level radioactive waste other than storing it indefinitely at Sellafield?

Arwyn
Arwyn
11 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Just wondering where two nuclear power stations would fit into a Wales strategy. Wales has ample renewable energy. We could be looking at Hydrogen & carbon neutral hydrocarbons via the Fischer Tropsch process alongside biomass feedstock. Coupled with domestic/industrial scale batteries we can solve the supply-demand problem without recourse to a nuclear technology with significant health risks. What we could do if we weren’t governed by Westminster eh …

Last edited 11 months ago by Arwyn
Richard 1st
Richard 1st
11 months ago

Government lies again. Nuclear is NOT low carbon. It’s the 3rd highest carbon emitter after coal-fired and natural gas electricity generators. Life cycle emissions 66 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour compared with 9 grams per kilowatt-hour for wind and 32 grams per kilowatt-hour for solar. Dr. Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex, looked at more than 100 studies to reach the conclusion about nuclear’s high carbon output. 66 grams CO2 per kilowatt-hour is considerably higher than the government’s own 50g limit. Where did they say that? – someone please remind me; I’m too… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
11 months ago

Yippee, who is going to pay for de commissioning these costly abominations in the future? They are also very expensive to run. It is a strategy to place these in wales to ‘bind’ the union together. It is perverse as we have the capacity for huge amounts of growth in using our abundant renewable energy, this will just take funding away. Jobs? There will be a lot more of this were to happen than in the nuclear industry. The sooner we are out of this septic union the better, we can make our own decisions rightly or wrongly

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

She loves me-She loves me not-She loves me-She loves me not…repeat ad nauseam !

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago

Wales is covered in energy producing “plants” for the benefit of Greater England. On shore wind is over dominant in the mix, but diverting to nuclear when there is so much scope for marine and other renewables is a bit lacking in creativity and imagination, apart from the well documented safety issues. .

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
11 months ago

The future lies with hydrogen which we have in abundance in Wales

j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago

Could do with an article for the likes of me? Please.

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Fuel cell
Wikipedia Sir William Grove Swansea 1838
Octopus Energy R E S Presbyterians
Renewable energy news
Renews.biz

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
11 months ago

Sorry typo. Green hydrogen not religious group

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

I keep on saying this like a stuck record. If it benefits England and blights Wales. It will be built. Westminster & Whitehall should not be the ones dictating to Wales regarding such an important and highly dangerous infrastructure build. Our Senedd Cymru should be debating the merits , if any, not London and it’s they who should have the final say. Whitehall could dictate ti Wales that the mountains of Mid & North Wales could be Hinkley Point’s nuclear waste storage facility and our Senedd would be powerless to act as it was with the LNG pipeline. And I… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 months ago

Hang on, they want wind farms, solar energy AND nuclear power out of us?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

They will get round to tidal before long too…

George
George
11 months ago

Just as Boris is now spending money to get police back to levels from 10 years ago we will see in 10 years Tories win Westminster saying their policy from last decade was the wrong one. Selling off the future to ensure their friends become richer then pretending it was a completely different party that did it works a treat, apparently.

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