UK Government confirms ongoing talks over Wylfa nuclear site
The UK Government has confirmed discussions are ongoing about the sale of the Wylfa nuclear site on Anglesey.
The status of talks was revealed in response to Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee’s report, Nuclear energy in Wales.
Hitachi has owned the nuclear site at Wylfa since 2012, and the Committee is keen for the land to be made available for another developer to take forward a nuclear energy project.
In its report published in May, the Welsh Affairs Committee raised concern that the nuclear sector needed greater clarity from the UK Government on nuclear energy.
In response, the government set out details of upcoming nuclear energy policy interventions, including the process of Great British Nuclear’s small modular reactor (SMR) competition, with the leading technologies, to be determined later this year.
Rolls Royce has been seen as one of the frontrunners to produce a fleet of SMR’s for UK power plants and declared an interest in the Wylfa site last year.
Early this week Rolls-Royce warned that the UK risks falling behind in the global competition for mini nuclear reactors and predicted a minimum six-month delay in securing approval for its own reactor design.
In its report published in May, the Committee raised concern that the nuclear sector needed greater clarity from the UK Government on nuclear energy. In response, the UK Government set out details of upcoming nuclear energy policy interventions, including the process of Great British Nuclear’s small modular reactor (SMR) competition. The leading technologies, it states, will be determined later this year.
Wales’ supply chains
The report also stressed the opportunities for Wales’ supply chains and businesses of large scale energy infrastructure.
The Committee recommended that policy is set out as to how to grow the sector in Wales, including making sure the required skills are in place. However, in response, the UK Government has said that it will not place a requirement on developers to use a minimum level of local content during a nuclear energy project.
Stephen Crabb, Welsh Affairs Committee Chair, said: “Wylfa is the next best nuclear site, after Sizewell C, to realise the UK Government’s nuclear energy ambitions.
“It is promising that there is a constructive and positive relationship between Ministers and Hitachi, but would like to see more progress in finding a buyer to crack on with creating a nuclear power plant.
“Great British Nuclear, as called for and welcomed by our committee, is a strong and positive move by the UK Government to illustrate its commitment to the sector. Its response to our report today sets out some early priorities, and I look forward to learning of the successful SMR projects later this year.
“We mustn’t lose momentum on the nuclear energy agenda; particularly given the enormous benefits it can provide for people and businesses across Wales.”
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