UK government in talks to build new nuclear plant in Anglesey

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The government is holding “exploratory” talks with companies about building a new nuclear plant at the Wylfa site in Anglesey, according to a senior government official.


The BBC reported that Declan Burke, the director of Nuclear Projects and Development at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department, told the Welsh Affairs Committee that discussions had been held with a consortium including US engineering firm Bechtel, which is proposing a Westinghouse AP1000 reactor for the site.


There have also been talks with Shearwater Energy to create small nuclear reactors and a wind farm, Burke revealed.


Ministers led by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are pushing for the development of a new nuclear site in Anglesey to help combat the energy crisis and move the country towards net zero, according to media reports.


Kwarteng is reportedly concerned that there will not be enough nuclear power to phase out gas by the early-2030s and is understood to be lobbying the Treasury to seek private investment for the Anglesey plant.


A GBP20bn plan by Horizon Nuclear Power to develop a new plant in Anglesey were withdrawn by in January due to funding issues.


The plans had reached “the point beyond which ministers were not willing to go, despite us all very much wanting that project to work”, Burke said.


Hitachi pulled out of a GBP20bn project last September after it failed to reach a funding agreement with the government.


Burke said the current talks were about “better understanding the propositions” for the site.


A potential new plant would generate enough electricity to power over six million homes from the mid-2030s and would come in addition to a nuclear plant under construction at Hinkley Point in Somerset and a proposed new reactor at Sizewell, Suffolk.

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