Trawsfynydd and Wylfa look set for mini-reactors as project gets Qatar backing
Trawsfynydd and Wylfa are two sites expected to be in line for new mini-reactors as a multi-billion pound project received backing from Qatar’s wealth fund.
The project by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce aims to build five £2bn small modular reactors by 2031, and then another eleven in the years that follow, each with the capacity to power 1.3m homes.
No sites have been named as yet but Rolls-Royce has previously said that there was a “pretty high probability” Trawsfynydd could house the first reactor by the early 2030s and Wylfa is also understood to be one of the sites under consideration.
It was announced today that the Qatar Investment Authority will invest £85m into the project, which now has total funding of £490m.
The UK Government had previously announced that they would match a £245m investment made by a consortium made up of Rolls-Royce, BNF Resources and the US generator Exelon Generation with £210 of their own.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the investment was a ‘vote of confidence’ in the UK.
“‘It represents a huge step in our plan to deploy more homegrown, clean energy,” he said.
Plans for new nuclear reactors have however already attracted opposition in Wales. 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 in October: “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“The UK and Welsh governments should divert resources and support away from wasteful and outdated nuclear power projects towards developing renewable technologies that are much cheaper and can provide faster and more sustainable solutions to the energy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.”