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Sea bird concerns delay Anglesey nuclear power plant DCO

Words: Roger Milne
Colony of terns prevent nuclear power plant DCO on Anglesey /  iStock-530207882

Horizon Nuclear Power, the company behind proposals for a new nuclear power plant on Anglesey, has delayed applying for a development consent order (DCO) for the project while it addresses issues over the impact of construction work on nearby protected colonies of terns.

The UK energy company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, wants to build a power station equipped with two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at the site of the former Wylfa nuclear power plant on the island. That Magnox station has been decommissioned.

In a statement sent to The Planner, Horizon said: “Our goal has always been to achieve a development consent order that, as far as is possible, meets both our requirements and those of our key stakeholders. We extended our already extensive process of pre-application engagement over the winter, and we’re now aligned on the majority of topics with a wide range of organisations.

"Before we finally submit the DCO we intend to take a little more time to finalise our approach to dealing with protected bird habitats near to the Wylfa Newydd site. We’re confident we’ll resolve this and make a strong DCO submission.”

The company had originally expected to submit its DCO at the end of March. It already has clearance for the plant’s design from the nuclear regulator, but it still needs government approval, including planning consent.

As well as the power plant, rated at 2,700 megawatts, the scheme will require electricity transmission infrastructure, a so-called marine offloading facility and the construction of a temporary site campus to accommodate construction workers.

The company has said work on the £12 billion scheme could start in 2020, with first power generated as early as 2025.

Image credit | iStock