Huhne Confirms Wylfa Suitable For New Build

by J Roberts
(North Wales)

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday confirmed in Parliament that Wylfa is one of eight sites considered suitable for new nuclear build by 2025.

While recent events in Japan and their possible implications for future world energy production have dominated the news, this statement is very welcome for Anglesey going forward.

First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones welcomed the statement, saying the Welsh Assembly Government will work with all groups "to make sure the community gets the maximum benefit in jobs, training and supply chain opportunities."

Alan Raymant, Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture between RWE npower and E.ON, said of the announcement, it's "another step forward towards the delivery of new nuclear developments in the UK."

Mr Raymant believes the delay in the generic design assessment (GDA) approval by the UK nuclear regulator was appropriate given the nature of events in Fukushima, Japan.

Horizon will be able to build-in key safety recommendations from the Weightman Review into its final planning application. The review is being carried out by Dr Mike Weightman, UK Chief Nuclear Inspector and member of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA).

With the prospect of hundreds of long-term, quality jobs likely to be created on Anglesey after the proposed reactor construction would be completed, this latest announcement is a further milestone on the road to economic recovery for the island.

While the energy secretarty's statement was welcomed by many, others were again keen to focus on the back-end consequences of new nuclear build, namely the production of more nuclear waste.

The PAWB group (People against Wylfa B) points to the need for greater use of renewable energy as an alternative source for generating electricity, despite its low starting base and susceptibility to long periods of zero output (particularly in the case of wind turbines).

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