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US nuclear consortium wanting to develop Wylfa responds to UK Government’s Net Zero strategy

A US nuclear consortium urged UK Government to “act now” and commit to Wylfa in response to the new Net Zero strategy.

The Westminster Government yesterday set out their plan to decarbonise the UK economy.

It included getting at least one large-scale nuclear project to a final investment decision this Parliament, with Sizewell C in Suffolk at the front of the queue.

Wylfa was mentioned in the strategy as a “possible” future site for a Small Modular Reactor(SMR) or Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) – although this could drive any decision a number of years done the line.

A US consortium led by Westinghouse and Bechtel is eyeing up the site for a large scale nuclear plant following the withdrawal of Japanese firm Hitachi from developing Wylfa Newydd.

Last night they released a statement.

They said: “We welcome the publication of the Government’s net zero strategy today and are pleased to see that nuclear power features prominently throughout the proposal as an intrinsic part of achieving the UK’s net-zero goals.

“The potential for the Wylfa site to play a key role in the solution, as mentioned in the net-zero strategy document, is notable as it signals the Government’s recognition of the widely accepted opinion that Wylfa is the best site in the UK for a large-scale nuclear power plant.

“We urge the government to act now and commit to developing the world’s most advanced nuclear technology, the AP1000, at the Wylfa site.

“This not only has the potential to deliver power to four million homes before 2035 but will also facilitate the future development and construction of SMR and AMR technology in the UK, making it a first mover in the industry.

“The construction of the AP1000 at the Wylfa site will significantly contribute to the UK’s levelling-up agenda and the Prime Minister’s desire to create a ‘high-wage, high-skilled, high-productivity economy’ by creating tens of thousands of jobs and fostering a strong indigenous workforce for generations to come.

“We look forward to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of the month and the role we can play in developing the UK’s sovereign nuclear capability to reach the net-zero goals and maximise the value of our nuclear real estate.”

Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie said: “I have constantly made the case that Wylfa Newydd is the best location for new Small Modular Reactors (SMR) in the country and the fact the site is singled out in the strategy is very good news.

“This is why I have been working hard to bring investment to the island through world-leading companies like Westinghouse, Bechtel and Rolls-Royce and have all visited over the past few months.

“They have been impressed with the capabilities of the community and the enormous potential the UK’s Energy Island has to deliver the UK Government’s green ambitions whether it is nuclear or hydrogen or renewable tidal power.

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“Those who know me will now be preparing for further rounds of meetings, cajoling, speeches, conferences and arm twisting as I ensure Ynys Môn receives the nuclear investment it deserves.

“A big part of this will be the new £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund that will really develop future nuclear technologies, including SMRs.

“The case needs to be made step by step to the UK Government for SMRs on Anglesey allied to continued dialogue with private industry on how new nuclear in all its forms can be built on Ynys Môn.”

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