Log in | Register

UK ministers in hot water over loss of North Wales nuclear jobs

Words: Roger Milne
Wylfa Newydd / Horizon Power

Chair of the UK Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee David T C Davies has accused the UK Government of a ‘lacklustre’ response to the MPs’ report on Hitachi’s suspension of work on the proposed nuclear plant on Anglesey – its Wylfa Newydd project.

The committee’s report found that the site had distinct geological benefits and a local skills base and recommended that the UK Government and Hitachi should explore new financing models to help get work back under way.

The report also advocated that, if continuation of works was impossible, the government should capitalise on these regional advantages by exploring ways to develop alternative low-carbon energy projects in the area.

However, the government’s response does not explicitly commit to accepting those recommendations.

Its response refers to a range of existing government policies on clean growth and the North Wales Growth Deal, but is unclear over what new or additional support ministers are offering North Wales in place of the economic opportunities represented by the multibillion-pound scheme.

Davies complained: “The suspension of works at Wylfa Newydd was a catastrophic blow to the local economy – thousands of jobs that could have been created by the nuclear development at Wylfa Newydd have been lost and the government appears to have no plan in place for repairing the damage.

“My committee made workable recommendations to capitalise on the low-carbon capabilities in the area, and I am disappointed at the government’s lacklustre response to our report.

“This response demonstrates that, beyond warm words, the government has no real commitment to developing a low-carbon energy industry in North Wales.”

Image credit | Horizon Power