UK Government backs plans for new nuclear power plant on Anglesey
Anglesey has emerged as the favoured location for a new nuclear power station among UK Government ministers.
According to The Telegraph, two American companies, Westinghouse and Bechtel, are involved in developing the scheme which could see two reactors constructed on the site of the decommissioned Wylfa Newydd site.
The new power plant would increase the UK’s energy capacity by 2.3 gigawatts and would be backed by the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.
Another Welsh site, Trawsfynydd, has also been identified as a potential location for one of the small modular reactor being developed by Rolls Royce but construction there is not expected to get under way for several years.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart is expected to visit one of Westinghouse’s nuclear power stations during an official trip to the USA later this week.
Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Hart said: “For large-scale nuclear, like Hinkley Point, Wylfa Newydd offers an unrivalled opportunity, and it continues to attract the attention of nuclear developers from key allies across the globe.
“The local support is resolute, and it’s an infrastructure project that could transform the whole of the North Wales region whilst creating thousands of jobs in the process.
“Trawsfynydd, on the other hand, is the smaller of the team, yet its credentials are just as impressive. Rolls-Royce (which has designed a small modular reactor and is one of the leading manufacturers for this emerging tech) has previously said that there was a “pretty high probability” Trawsfynydd could house the first SMRs by the early 2030s.
“All these opportunities lend themself to the creation of a North Wales nuclear arc, a cluster of nuclear excellence. This delivers on all the Government’s key agendas – levelling-up, strengthening the union and delivering on net zero.”
Proposals for a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa have already been opposed by local groups, including CADNO and PAWB.
Writing for Nation.Cymru, Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) warned that “nuclear power is a dirty, outdated, dangerous, vastly expensive technology which threatens both human and environmental health”.
“It would also steal much-needed resources from renewable technologies which are cheaper, much quicker to build and more effective to combat the effects of climate change.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, whose party currently controls Anglesey Council, also spoke out against nuclear power last week, calling it “the wrong answer” to Wales’ energy needs.
“We do not support nuclear power. It’s the wrong answer. Renewables absolutely is the way to go. And I fear that, you know, nuclear power, very expensive and unnecessary distraction,” he said.
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