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Planners approve £20bn Wylfa nuclear plant

Wylfa newydd nuclear power station 3to2

Planners have formally accepted Hitachi’s proposals to build a £20bn nuclear power plant on Anglesey.

Members of the public now have the opportunity to sign up to have their say on the Wylfa project, following the Planning Inspectorate’s 28-day statutory review into Horizon Nuclear Power’s proposals.

Horizon’s application for four other environmental permits have also been cleared, which will allow them to be assessed by Natural Resources Wales via a public consultation.

The development consent order is expected to be completed in around two years time with work scheduled to start in 2020.

Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon Nuclear Power, said: “This is a significant milestone for Horizon and an important step on the path to having all the permissions we need to build Wylfa Newydd.

“The power station will not only deliver huge benefits for Anglesey, where it will provide top-quality employment for local people and significant opportunities for local businesses, but it will also play a key role in the UK’s energy future, delivering much-needed low carbon, safe and secure power for decades to come.”

Last month the UK government confirmed that it would start “commercial negotiations” with Hitachi over its proposed nuclear site in Wales.

Business secretary Greg Clark announced that the UK is looking to take a £5bn stake in the Wylfa project in Anglesey.

The government will be using public money to finance its share in the £20bn project after agreeing on a tripartite investment structure under which Hitachi, the UK government and state-backed Japanese entities would become equal investment partners.

Clark said: “For this project the government will be considering direct investment alongside Hitachi and Japanese government agencies.

“This is an important next step for the project, although no decision has been taken yet to proceed […] and successful conclusion of these negotiations will be subject to full government, regulatory and other approvals, including but not limited to value for money, due diligence and other state aid requirements.” 

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