NUCLEAR power could return to Trawsfynydd under a new £40 million scheme to build ‘mini’ atomic power plants in the UK.
The UK Government’s Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, is set to announce £200m of funding for the nuclear industry at Trawsfynydd later today with an additional £40m going to support the design of advanced nuclear technologies such as mini reactors, with the Meirionnydd site being a front-runner to house the project.
The announcement will give the local jobs industry a boost, which has suffered since the decommissioning of the Trawsfynydd site in 1993.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts said: “I welcome the announcement of the Nuclear Sector Deal today, and I particularly welcome the news that the launch was held at the decommissioned nuclear power station in Trawsfynydd.
“This is the first public indication that the UK government is prepared to consider an ongoing role for Trawsfynydd in safe, low carbon energy production.
“Many people will interpret this as an official sign that Trawsfynydd could be the site of advanced nuclear technology in future years.
“Local people will remember concerns at the loss of employment brought about by the closure of the former power station in 1993.
“While decommissioning has employed many workers in Gwynedd, there have been fears that highly skilled and well-paid jobs associated with the industry were being scaled down, and would inevitably come to an end.
“I would urge government now to adopt a final site clearance approach in anticipation that Trawsfynydd will once again have an energy future.
“To speak plainly, I’ve seen too many ambitious, well-qualified young people leave this area. We need to secure highly skilled employment, and to maintain the tradition of energy production in Meirionnydd which has provided work for so many local, Welsh-speaking people here in the heart of rural Eryri.
“I want to see the people of Wales equipped with the means to overcome poverty.
“This announcement takes a first step in the right direction which will strengthen our capacity to generate low carbon electricity and to profit from exporting energy, offering once again the prospect of well-paid, technology jobs in a region that presently suffers some of the lowest wages in the UK.
“It also allows opportunity to grow the manufacturing supply chain across Wales to support a new low carbon energy development at Traws.
“I would urge the government to work closely with local schools, Grwp Llandrillo Menai and universities to make sure that pupils and students have every opportunity to benefit from future developments, and to ensure that the number of women employed in engineering and technology increases significantly.”
Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, also welcomed the news, saying: “It is particularly apt that we are launching the UK government’s nuclear strategy at Trawsfynydd.
“This site reflects both the past of our nuclear industry and an exciting future as the potential site for the new generation of small reactors, placing Wales at the centre of a UK arc of the nuclear industry.
“Trawsfynydd is ready to be transformed with little upgrade needed to the grid infrastructure.
“It’s in the right place with the right people and good links to leading academic research institutions in the nuclear sector.
“The kind of small reactor which could be sited in Trawsfynydd is set to usher in an era of cost-effective power with equipment put together off site and transported to locations like this for relatively easy assembly.
“I believe the UK government strategy announced today represents a road map which will drive innovation in the nuclear industry, create jobs and provide a significant boost to the local economy here in north Wales.”
Source: Cambrian News