I am keeping up the pressure on the UK government for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and held a parliamentary debate on the recently announced civil nuclear roadmap this week.
I am a vocal campaigner for new nuclear to secure the UK’s net zero and energy security needs and continue to lobby the government for Wylfa to play its part.
I secured this debate to highlight the simple truth that large-scale nuclear development at Wylfa in my constituency of Ynys Môn would be a transformational opportunity for the people I represent. It would be the largest inward investment in the history of Wales, and potentially the greatest single action the UK could take in the fight against climate change and in the race for energy security.
I warmly welcome the civil nuclear road map that the UK Government published recently, in which they committed to exploring a third gigawatt-scale project after Sizewell C, and to developing further large-scale nuclear in parallel with small modular reactors. I urge the Government to take that commitment further by naming Wylfa as the site for such a large-scale project, and to move forward at speed in announcing a partner to deliver that project in Ynys Môn.
I am in no doubt, and neither is the nuclear industry, that Wylfa is the best site in the UK—and indeed all of Europe—for new large-scale nuclear.
There is one more factor that makes Wylfa ideal for new nuclear, and that is the strong support of the local community. Wylfa means hope—the community remembers what the island was like when the original Wylfa was up and running. To them, nuclear means jobs, investment and opportunity for them, their children, and their Welsh language—for all the young people who otherwise leave the island to find good work.
I have invited and personally showed around the leading contenders for a large-scale project at Wylfa: Westinghouse, KEPCO and hopefully EDF.
All have said that the work Horizon has done to prepare the site and design a plant would cut the deployment time for a large-scale project at the site.
We know that time is money, so getting the land and intellectual property into UK ownership is critical.
The next thing is to design and start a process this year to pick up one of those prospective partners to execute a project at Wylfa in conjunction with Great British Nuclear. That can and should be done very quickly.
Wylfa is the cheapest option in the medium and long term.
The nuclear minister Andrew Bowie responded by saying: “My honourable friend has a formidable track record of championing the case for a future nuclear project at Wylfa, both as chair of the nuclear delivery group and through her membership of the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill Committee.
"I welcome the opportunity to discuss our nuclear plans and Wylfa in more detail today. I reiterate the Government’s determination to ensure that nuclear plays a central role in our future energy mix.
"Wales has a crucial and pivotal role to play in our future nuclear programme. That is not only because of its long and proud history of nuclear skills and expertise, but its growing interest in building on that rich history and its recognition that nuclear development could have a major economic impact across north Wales in particular.
"After several decades of decline, the UK’s nuclear industry is reawakening, and we are determined to harness our unique strengths and become a leading nuclear energy nation once again.
"I look forward to continuing to work with my honourable friend the Member for Ynys Môn as our plans progress in the coming months."
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