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Wylfa nuclear bid set to pass key planning milestone

Wylfa newydd nuclear power station 3to2

An extraordinary meeting of Anglesy County Council’s planning committee next week is set to accelerate development of the Wylfa nuclear power station.

Horizon Nuclear Power wants permission to clear 299ha of land to prepare for construction of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant. If approval is given, the project promoter will set up the main site compound carrying out other enabling works at the site. Horizon says it has cut the time needed to do this initial work from 15 months to 13 and getting permission will give it a head start on the main construction programme, if a development consent order for the whole project is granted.

Council officers are recommending that permission is given, subject to conditions, including that work is carried out within two years of permission being granted.

The move comes at a time of potential political sea change in some attitudes towards nuclear power in Wales.

Leanne Wood, the current leader of Plaid Cymru has said she will fully review its energy policies if she is re-elected in next month’s leadership election - there has been support for projects because of the jobs they bring, but Wood has reportedly said that she doesn’t want the dependence on Westminster funding that the project would bring.

Wood said: ““The review would study the possible negative effects a nuclear power project could have on the future of housing, the local economy and the Welsh language in Ynys Môn and neighbouring Gwynedd.”

She added it would also look at the potential in renewable energy schemes. Labour is the largest party represented at the Welsh Assembly. 

Last week Horizon announced that US engineering giant Bechtel has been appointed as project manager contractor for the Wylfa Newydd nuclear new build.

Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe will deliver the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors for the power station and act as architect engineer. JGC will provide a range of specialist services related to supporting components and systems needed to deliver the energy.

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