Ynys Môn MP declares herself an ‘Atomic Kitten’ as she calls for small nuclear reactor on the island
The MP for Ynys Môn has declared herself an “Atomic Kitten” as she called for installing small nuclear reactors across the UK, including in her own constituency on Anglesey.
Trawsfynydd and Wylfa are two sites expected to be in line for new mini-reactors as part of a bid by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce to build five £2bn small modular reactors by 2031.
Last month it was announced today that the Qatar Investment Authority will invest £85m into the project, which now has total funding of £490m.
Leading a debate at Westminster Hall, Virginia Crosbie said that “my nickname is Atomic Kitten,” and said that the small nuclear reactors were crucial to solving the UK’s “ongoing energy security and our ambitious goal to achieve net zero”.
“In the ’50s and ’60s we led the way with nuclear and nuclear export,” she said. “This is an opportunity for us to get back to where we were, leading in a sector that is so vital for our energy security. That is very important for jobs, and it will create skilled jobs in my constituency and across Wales and the UK.”
She argued that there was an opportunity to site other clean energy projects alongside the small nuclear reactors.
“Such co-location is not new; the original Wylfa power station was established to provide power to Anglesey Aluminium,” she said.
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.
Responding to Virginia Crosbie, the Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Greg Hands, said that he would be visiting Ynys Mon later this year “as the home of the former Wylfa nuclear power station and the site of the proposed Wylfa Newydd plant”.
“The Government fully support the development of small modular reactors and the exciting opportunities, both in terms of energy security and of reaching net zero, that new nuclear can offer the UK.
“We have demonstrated our serious interest in building nuclear capacity in the UK, and over the past year we have made decisions that boost investors’ and businesses’ confidence in investing in UK nuclear.”
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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