'Key milestone' in Anglesey nuclear proposal

Published on Monday, 06 January 2014 12:44
Written by Daniel Mason

The proposed development of new nuclear on Anglesey has reached another key milestone, said the secretary of state for Wales, David Jones, today – as it was announced that the assessment of a cutting-edge nuclear reactor has progressed to the next phase.

The UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor is currently proposed for use at the site of Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. The process forms a critical part of the Generic Design Assessment currently underway to ensure that the reactor meets rigorous safety standards.

Secretary of state for Wales, David Jones, has marked the announcement as a significant step forward for the Wylfa Newydd development which is set to form the centrepiece of Anglesey's Energy Island.

Mr Jones said: "The importance I personally place in the development of new nuclear at Wylfa Newydd, and the commitment of this Government to a future for nuclear in the UK is steadfast.

"However, it is absolutely right that the proposed design of any reactor to be constructed in this country is subjected to stringent safety assessments led by the independent regulators. I am delighted to see that this process is moving along to the second stage of assessment."

Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy has marked the announcement with the launch of a new website dedicated to explaining the reactor technology and inviting comments on the design as part of a public and stakeholder engagement programme.

The Japanese giant has already laid out its initial approach to engaging local suppliers and training local workers, working with Horizon Nuclear Power to deliver a lasting economic legacy in North Wales.

During his trade mission to Asia in March 2013, the secretary of state visited Hitachi City in Tokyo to hear how plans to build the new plants were progressing.

Mr Jones visited Ohma nuclear power plant which is currently under construction. Here, he met with the owners and operators, J-Power who escorted him on a tour of the site where he was able to see first hand the construction of an advanced boiling water reactor.

During the visit, Mr Jones also took the opportunity to discuss the wealth of supply chain opportunities for UK companies during the construction phase of the planned nuclear reactors.

He added: "Anglesey already has many advantages in relation to new nuclear build, both in terms of the excellent skills of the existing Wylfa workforce, and in the enthusiasm of the young apprentices at Coleg Menai's Energy Centre in Llangefni.

"The benefits which local businesses, and businesses across Wales, can derive from the investment that Hitachi-GE is making in the UK are limitless. The company has already said that it expects that around 60 per cent of the supply chain involved in building the nuclear power stations will be UK companies.

"Welsh businesses must now be ready to seize the tremendous opportunities presented by Wylfa Newydd and use the experience they will gain to springboard into other markets."

Source: Wales Office

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