A company backed by investor in Elon Musk’s businesses is the latest to say that it wants to build a nuclear power plant in Wales.
Last Energy is now the third company that wants to build nuclear power plants in Wales, having settled on a not yet named site within the country.
They would join a Rolls-Royce led consortium who have mooted Wylfa on Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd as the locations of new modular reactors.
US nuclear company Westinghouse have also put together a consortium with construction group Bechtel to revive plans for two nuclear reactors at Wylfa since Hitachi, a Japanese conglomerate, abandoned their own plans in 2019.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Last Energy’s plans are very similar to those of Rolls-Royce. They want to build a first “mini-nuclear” power plant in Wales by 2025, as part of a plan to spend £1.4bn on 10 reactors by the end of the decade.
Elon Musk, who is the world’s richest person with assets worth an estimated £220bn, said on Twitter last month that he was keen on investing in nuclear energy.
“It is now extremely obvious that Europe should restart dormant nuclear power stations and increase power output of existing ones,” he said. “This is critical to national and international security.
“For those who (mistakenly) think this is a radiation risk, pick what you think is the worst location. I will travel there [and] eat locally grown food on TV. I did this in Japan many years ago, shortly after Fukushima. Radiation risk is much, much lower than most people believe.”
Last Energy met with representatives from the UK Government to discuss the plans last week.
More nuclear power at Wylfa is not without its critics with campaign groups CADNO and PAWB among the local opposition.
Writing for Nation.Cymru, Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) warned that “nuclear power is a dirty, outdated, dangerous, vastly expensive technology which threatens both human and environmental health”.
“It would also steal much-needed resources from renewable technologies which are cheaper, much quicker to build and more effective to combat the effects of climate change.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, whose party currently controls Anglesey Council, also spoke out against nuclear power last week, calling it “the wrong answer” to Wales’ energy needs.
“We do not support nuclear power. It’s the wrong answer. Renewables absolutely is the way to go. And I fear that, you know, nuclear power, very expensive and unnecessary distraction,” he said.