I am working hard to deliver a firm commitment to new nuclear at Wylfa from UK Government to give local people a secure and stable future: In its 2022 British Energy Security Strategy the UK Government names Wylfa as a key site for one of its eight proposed new nuclear power plants. This would bring investment of around £20bn for a large-scale plant with additional support for small modular reactors. Eight thousand construction jobs and 800 steady state quality careers would be created at new Wylfa alongside hundreds more secondary and supply chain jobs. This skilled employment will enable our young people to afford their own homes, stay in their communities and keep the Welsh language and culture alive.
The highlights of my work to keep the dream of Wylfa alive include:
- Wylfa has been named as a key development site for new nuclear in the British Energy Security Strategy.
- Five UK Government Ministers have visited Wylfa since 2020 to see the site first-hand and meet local people, including the former Prime Minister, Secretaries of State for BEIS and Wales, and Energy Minister.
- As a member of the Nuclear (Financing) Bill Committee I was instrumental in putting forward important new legislation to address the financing of new nuclear
- I have brought key nuclear developers including Bechtel and Rolls-Royce to Wylfa and other local brownfield sites so that they can see the potential opportunities.
- The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill has been enacted to address the financing issues that contributed to Hitachi withdrawal.
- The UK-wide Future Nuclear Enabling Fund was launched from Wylfa showing how significant the UK Government believes the site to be.
This has been an exciting year for the prospects of Wylfa. After the disappointment of Hitachi withdrawing from the site early in 2021, later months saw significant progress for its future.
A combination of the war in Ukraine, poor solar and wind generation and a fire in a station bringing electricity into the UK from France made it clear just how fragile our energy security can be. Shortly before the UK hosted COP26 in Glasgow, the need for diverse but reliable power was a headline topic. New nuclear became a buzzword in Government and with it came Wylfa.
Wylfa is a very special site, with the space to take both large and small modular reactors which would generate thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of steady-state careers. I am working with the prospective developers, Bangor University and Grwp Llandrillo Menai to make sure that our young people are primed and ready to take those roles. In doing so we not only provide a future for our children but also boost our local economy and keep our communities, language and culture alive.
I have been delighted to see the progress we have made on the nuclear power agenda over the past few months and expect to see more movement over the coming year as the Government presses forward with its Energy Security Strategy.