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MPs urge action after nuclear hiatus blights North Wales growth deal prospects

Words: Roger Milne
Wylfa Newydd / Horizon Power

MPs have called on the UK and Welsh governments to consider a range of low-carbon energy projects in north-west Wales following the suspension of work on the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station.

That call comes in a report from the UK Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee, which has been looking at the economic impact of the decision by Japanese industrial giant Hitachi to halt work on its proposed new nuclear plant, earmarked for an existing nuclear site on the island of Anglesey.

Rising costs were behind this decision.

MPs on the select committee also implore the governments, local authorities and other partners involved in the emerging North Wales growth deal to ensure that other projects in the deal are funded and accelerated to fill the gap left by the hiatus over the power project.

The report stresses the importance of capitalising on the geological benefits of the Anglesey site, and the skills of people working in the area, by considering a range of possible energy projects.  

It says the governments and other interested partners should work together on a proposal for a small modular nuclear reactor at Trawsfynydd, site of the now-decommissioned Magnox nuclear power station in the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd.

The MPs argue that If Hitachi is not prepared to resume development, the UK Government should encourage it to sell the site to another developer that might be willing to reactivate the project.

The report also proposes that the UK Government should also seek out companies to develop alternative low-carbon energy projects.

Image credit | Horizon Power