New Wylfa Plant By 2017

by Mike Evans

RWE NPower has a land option at Wylfa and if it secures the site for nuclear reactor build, an Anglesey power station could potentially begin generating electricity from 2017.

This is the optimistic scenario being painted by RWE NPower Chief Executive Andrew Duff, as his company sets out in a joint venture with E.ON to build up to 6 GW (6,000 MW) of electricity generating capacity in the UK.

The company is already responsible for generating over 10 per cent of electricity in England and Wales, through other sources such as coal, wind power and gas, and it has plans for increasing UK power generating capacity in addition to the proposed new nuclear build projects.

Ideally, E.ON and RWE Npower would each take about 3,000 MW of generating capacity, using two or more nuclear sites in the process.

To reach these objectives in the suggested timescale, this joint venture team would need to secure the new sites, avoid lengthy local planning delays over building issues, and achieve speedy licensing of the new reactor technology.

It seems the likely choice for this joint venture is to go for either the Toshiba Westinghouse AP1000 model or the Areva EPR reactor design.

Depending on which they choose, the new Wylfa power station would either have 3 or 2 reactors respectively, each adding up to roughly 3,000 MW of capacity.

There will also have to be a satisfactory plan for dealing with nuclear waste disposal and long term storage in the plans put forward by E.ON and RWE NPower.

While E.ON has an option on land at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, RWE NPower has secured options at Wylfa.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) online auction for these prime new build sites has been delayed, but has to be completed by 31 March, when the winners will be announced.

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