Wylfa Makes New Sites Nominations List
Wylfa on Anglesey is among eleven potential new nuclear sites nominated as part of the UK Government’s Strategic Siting Assessment (SSA).
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says the island location was put forward both by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and RWE Npower, but as they are virtually the same, they will be treated as one for assessment purposes.
Local people have now been asked for their views and questions as part of a month long public consultation which starts today (15 April 2009) and will be able to see copies of the nomination document at the Planning Department at Anglesey County Council.
Alternatively, you can view a copy of the documentation at the local libraries in Holyhead, Amlwch, Llangefni, Beaumaris and Menai Bridge.
The deadline for comments will be 14 May 2009, after which the process is completed with the National Policy Statement.
With the existing plant due to close by the end of 2010, though with a possibility for an extension up to 2014, there is an urgent need to address the UK’s falling capacity of low carbon electricity generation.
The aim is that at least four nuclear plants can be up and running by around 2018.
While this is considered a tight timetable, with five years for design, planning and safety assessments, and a further five for construction, Wylfa is expected to take up to 15 years to be completed by 2025.
Among the eleven sites in England and Wales listed by DECC are Oldbury, Bradwell, Sellafield, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinckley Point and Dungeness.
Existing sites are favoured because they already have grid connections in place and the local community already accepts the idea of nuclear power station proximity.
The Anglesey economy could potentially benefit hugely from significant job opportunities in construction, project management, engineering, design as well as from a boost to businesses in the local supply chain.
So what does the NDA nomination document say about Wylfa?
- The nominated site is situated on roughly 232 hectares of land, 131 ha owned by the NDA, between the village of Cemaes and Cemlyn Bay on the North West coast of Anglesey, north of the A5025 trunk road and village of Tregele. The centre of the land has a grid reference of 235260 393350.
- While it seems unavoidable that the new power station would have a visual impact on coastal scenery, the document suggests the new plant will be built outside the present designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
- There will be a need for a Marine Off-Loading Facility (MOLF) and pipe infrastructure in the sensitive coastal environment, and this may extend up to 3km out to sea. A MOLF is important for delivering heavy plant, which avoids heavy road traffic congestion and damage to local transport infrastructure.
- The new Wylfa B nuclear station would be ready by 2025 and this early deployment would help address the strategic needs of the UK Government to meet tough carbon dioxide emission targets, while also giving a significant boost both in the short and long term to local job opportunities.
- As for coastal erosion the document suggests that as Wylfa is surrounded by a rocky coastline, it would not be vulnerable over the expected 100 year lifecycle of the new station.
- Proximity to the sea is excellent for water cooling facilities, and a grid connection is already set up.
- As the nominated site is mainly well above sea level (except for Tre’r Cof), supporting maps show only the edges of the site (to the east and west) are considered Environmental Agency Flood Zones. Drainage work will be needed with careful attention given to the SSSI at Tre’r Gof and to avoid flood risk, to land to the east of the site outside Cemaes.
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