Wylfa and Trawsfynydd named on shortlist for new Rolls-Royce nuclear reactors
Wylfa and Trawsfynydd have been named on a Rolls-Royce shortlist as the locations of new ‘small’ nuclear reactors.
The shortlist of four locations follows an assessment of former nuclear sites to see whether they were stable and large enough to house a nuclear reactor and connected to the power grid.
The four former nuclear sites shortlisted by Rolls-Royce are owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and also include Sellafield in Cumbria and Oldbury near Bristol over the border in England.
The company, backed by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, hope to mass-produce 30 reactors to kick-start a new shift towards nuclear power in Wales and England. Each Small Modular Reactor produced will generate about 470MW of power each for at least 60 years, they said.
They have been working with the Welsh Government’s Cwmni Egnio and will need the consent of Natural Resources Wales before placing the nuclear reactors in Trawsfynydd and Wylfa.
“Identifying the sites that can host our SMRs is a key step to our efficient deployment – the sooner that work can begin at site, the sooner we can deliver stable, secure supplies of low-carbon nuclear power from SMRs designed and built in the UK,” Tom Samson, chief executive of Rolls-Royce SMR, said.
David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, added: “We’re engaging with several potential partners to explore the use of land in our estate whilst utilising the NDA’s nuclear sector expertise to support the delivery of the UK Government’s energy security strategy.”
Anti-nuclear campaigners in Wales have already raised fears about a plan to turn the country into a test-bed for the new generation of mini nuclear power plants.
Anti-nuclear campaigners CND Cymru, Cymdeithas y Cymod, CADNO, and PAWB released a statement last month opposing the plans and backing renewables instead.
“Wales is already a net exporter of electricity, and the investment into true renewables like wave, wind, tidal, and sun will be much more effective than the billions washed down the nuclear drain,” they said.
“We jointly call on the NDA to reconsider its support of nuclear development in Wales, and Trawsfynydd and Wylfa in particular, and further call on the UK and Welsh Government to invest in the green, clean, and renewable future of wave, wind, and sun that we all deserve.”
In September anti-nuclear campaigners have protested against plans for new nuclear power stations to be built in Wales with a 70-mile march across Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.