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Second company reveals plans for a new nuclear power plant at Trawsfynydd

23 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Trawsfynydd. Photo Welsh Government

A second consortium is seeking to build a new nuclear power station on the site of the decommissioned Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant in Gwynedd.

Last month Rolls-Royce named Trawsfynydd and Wylfa on Anglesey as potential locations for its a new small modular reactor (SMR) but it now seems set to face competition from another group which is developing its own reactors.

The engineering company Balfour Beatty has confirmed its intention to support construction of new SMR to rival Rolls-Royce and has signed a memorandum of understanding with Holtec Britain to develop plans for a SMR-160 pressurised light-water reactor.

Holtec has also announced three potential sites with existing nuclear power stations suitable for hosting its SMR-160s, described as a smaller rival to Rolls Royce’s SMRs, at Trawsfynydd, Heysham near Lancaster and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

Holtec International is planning to start the UK regulatory acceptance process of its SMR-160 reactors early next year with the submission of a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) application.

GDA is a process carried out by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency to assess the safety and environmental protection aspects of a nuclear power plant design.


If the company’s design is approved, construction of the first UK unit could commence in 2028.

“We are advancing project delivery plans with our UK team based on the information available for these sites and our corporate office committed to match funding the GDA with BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) ” said Holtec Britain Director Gareth Thomas.

“Our GDA application provides incredible value for government’s money considering that SMR-160’s development has been essentially funded by Holtec for well over a decade and the requested governmental support is only for ‘gap funding’ to complete the GDA process.”

Cwmni Egino, a development company backed by the Welsh Government, has confirmed plans to bring small modular reactor (SMR) technology to Trawsfynydd but a spokesperson for the company says it remains “technology agnostic” and is “currently in discussions with a range of technology providers.”

The existing nuclear station at Trawsfynydd, which at its peak employed over 700 people, closed in 1993 and decommissioning has been ongoing since 1995.

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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

This is complete madness. We do not need a nuclear power plant factory in North Wales. What we do need is a factory that will produce renewable technologies like wave power, current turbines and wind turbines. Wales has abundant resources, especially of waves and many sea side settlements would benefit from having wave machines moored offshore reducing the punding suffered by the shoreline in winter. Payback would be quick as such technologies are ready to go but just need enough investment to buy them and put them oin place.

1 year ago

We don’t need the disgrace of nuclear, again. We have a great reputation of renewable, let’s build on that. We need to suit energy creation to our landscape, for our needs. Not for the neighbour not to have windmills etc

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 year ago

No to nuclear. At both sites.
Yes to renewables.

Dafydd Williams
Dafydd Williams
8 months ago

Trawsffnydd would make an excellent site to create a large compressed air storage and electricity generation plant with its connection to the national grid. This would stop the current waste of wind energy which cannot be stored. The excess wind energy powers compressors which pump compressed air into tanks under the water of the reservoir to keep it compressed. When the energy is required by the grid the compressed air is used to turn turbines to generate the electricity. Such a system is already under construction in California by hydrostor. The decommissioned power plant near Barry would also make an… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Dafydd Williams

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