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Trawsfynydd and Wylfa look set for mini-reactors as project gets Qatar backing

20 Dec 2021 2 minutes Read
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station across the lake. Picture by William M. Connolley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

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“The UK and Welsh governments should divert resources and support away from wasteful and outdated nuclear power projects towards developing renewable technologies that are much cheaper and can provide faster and more sustainable solutions to the energy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


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Mark
Mark
6 months ago

nuclear power stations are so clean and environmentally friendly that there are people and universities around the world working on projects on how to warn future (think thousands of years) generations of the toxicity and dangers of nuclear waste that we will be leaving behind for them to deal with.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

I wonder what the people of Traws think about this ?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You know what…Traws you will have nukes…Llanbedr you can’t have a by-pass…it was ever thus in my old county…London or Cardiff it makes no blinking difference…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

One of these is enough to power Mid, North and South West Wales. The transmission losses and cost of distribution makes not moving them nearer to where needed a really daft idea.
They will convince me these are safe when there is one in Southwark and one in Salford.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kerry Davies
Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Kerry is spot on
Electricity generation should be as close as possible to the point of use whatever the method used to generate it:
Quatar has made a fortune out of oil and England a larger amount out of our coal now wish to benefit themselves out of our perceived remoteness so we take the risk and they take all the benefits. the eternal colonial reality

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
6 months ago

Everybody can see where this is going: centralized planners forcing nuclear onto the Welsh population.
Nuclear power is inefficient with less than 16% of the heat energy actually generating electricity.
Don’t mention nuclear CHP, there was such at Chernobyl and look what happened there?

Sorry no way Wales must stay nuclear free.
No nuclear, No central planning, No USSR and nor UK (USSR look-alike).

BobJ1
BobJ1
6 months ago

No nuclear, no wind farms (well ok a couple and then whinge), definitely no coal, forget gas (especially if Ru$$isn) no lagoon. The sun isn’t shining yet and you have to pump Stwlan and Dinorwig’s pumped storage back up once released – ideally using off peak nuclear power which you don’t like.

So, will the last naysayer switch the lights off please (not that they will even be on much longer at this rejection rate).

Jack
Jack
6 months ago

The reason France’s CO2 per capita emissions are so much lower than Wales’ is because of nuclear power.

Fantastic to see Wales embrace this technology. 👏

Richard 1
Richard 1
6 months ago
Reply to  Jack

What data are you using for France? A wide-ranging review of the carbon footprint shows nuclear is 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.
[“Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power”: A critical survey
Benjamin K. Sovacool Energy Policy 36 (2008) 2940– 2953]

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