Trawsfynydd could home reactor again as Welsh Government appoints CEO for nuclear company
Trawsfynydd could home a nuclear reactor again after the Welsh Government appointed a CEO for its nuclear company with the aim of exploring the possibility.
Mike Tynan, former head of UK operations at US nuclear engineering group Westinghouse, has been recruited to head up Cwmni Egino with the aim of resurrecting the Trawsfynydd site.
Trawsnfynydd is already the site of the decommissioned Magnox nuclear power station that ran between 1965 and 1991.
According to the Financial Times, Mike Tynan and Cwmni Egino will explore the economic benefits of siting a small-scale reactor at Trawsfynydd.
The Welsh Government and UK Government consider the small-scale reactors an important technology to meet net-zero targets by 2050.
Rolls-Royce, which has designed a small modular reactor and is waiting for UK regulatory approval, has previously said that there was a “pretty high probability” Trawsfynydd could house the first by the early 2030s.
They are planning to house the small modular reactors at existing nuclear sites in the UK.
Tom Samson, chief executive of the Rolls-Royce-led consortium, told the Financial Times that “Wales in particular holds significant potential” for small modular reactors.
He named as locations both Trawsfynydd and the Wylfa site on Anglesey.
The Welsh Government announced last year that it was setting up Cwmni Egino, with then Economic Minister Ken Skates saying there was “huge potential for the development of small modular reactor technologies at Trawsfynydd”.
“To be able to maximise and deliver this we are establishing Cwmni Egino to pursue this to the full, ensuring this great potential is unlocked,” he said.
“There is expertise and skill in the nuclear field in North Wales, with AMRC Cymru and developments at Bangor University, as well as the sites at both Trawsfynydd and Wylfa. I want to ensure that we make the most of this and are at the forefront of new developments.”
The plan came after Hitachi pulled out of building Wylfa B on Anglesey in 2019 over cost concerns.
“While we had disappointing news on Wylfa Newydd a fortnight ago, the fact remains that it is one of the best sites in the UK for a new nuclear development,” Ken Skates said in September.
“The establishment of a development company at Trawsfynydd shows our commitment to the nuclear sector in North Wales.”