Wylfa Nuclear Extension
by John Roberts
A minimum nine month extension to Wylfa Nuclear Power Station has been agreed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Anglesey nuclear plant will now continue generating until at least December 2010.
The DECC decision has been welcomed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) which is the owner of the site at Wylfa on Anglesey, where a consortium of RWE and E.ON won the land auction with a view to building a new nuclear station.
According to Richard Waite, acting Chief Executive of the NDA, this announcement by DECC is great news as "Wylfa's continued generation will ensure further benefit from a valuable NDA asset".
The implication of the nine month extension is around an extra £100 million of revenue from electricity generation. And so while Wylfa continues to supply the grid, the extra income will go towards the long term process of site clean up.
The NDA owned site is operated by Magnox North Limited which employs around 650 people, who have been gearing up for the site defuelling, demolition and decommissioning.
There are also a further 500 contractors and supply chain providers tied into the Anglesey site near Cemaes.
The significance of this decision is how it may impact on the very difficult negotiations currently underway to secure a competitive price for electricity supplied to the nearby Anglesey Aluminium smelter at Holyhead.
With the current power supply contract expiring in September 2009, around 500 jobs are at risk at the Holyhead smelter.
There have been efforts to extend generation at Wylfa to 2014 and this announcement is at least a step in that direction.
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