Gillan Backs Wylfa Nuclear New Build
by Steve Jones
Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan MP has reiterated her support for Wylfa B, the proposed new nuclear power station for Anglesey, saying that it will be in the vanguard of new generation nuclear plants in the UK.
Following widespread concern last month at the appointment of anti-nuclear Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne to the key energy portfolio
in the new Conservative Lib Dem coalition, Mrs Gillan has written formally to the Energy Secretary to confirm her support for Wylfa B
This is a project that many experts predict will pump around £8 billion into the island and neighbouring regional economies over the coming decades.
It is understood that this formal letter is intended to set the tone as momentum builds up for the commissioning of new nuclear reactors on Anglesey.
Mrs Gillan has invited either Mr Huhne or his colleague Charles Hendry MP, the Energy Minister, to visit Anglesey on a fact finding mission.
One of the issues raised by the new Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is whether there is a need for public subsidy for new nuclear build.
In what is such a strategically important portfolio, such doubts will be seen as unhelpful in creating the right "mood music" for the whole new generation programme.
Turning back to Anglesey, the Welsh Secretary says that she is very mindful of the state of the island economy, with figures showing it as having the lowest GVA (gross value added) in the UK, exacerbated by the unfortunate closure of the Anglesey Aluminium smelter
at Holyhead, along with other business closures.
Mrs Gillan also referred to a visit she made to Trawsfynydd where decommissioning of the old Magnox reactor has proceeded very succesfully, and she believes the expertise of the skilled workers here could help with the eventual decommissioning of the current Wylfa A
, possibly from the end of 2010.
As well as the nuclear focus, the Welsh Secretary also referred to the major offshore wind turbine developments at Gwynt-Y-Mor
, east of Anglesey and at Rhyl Flats.
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