Plans for a nuclear power station on the Welsh island of Anglesey have been delayed by concerns over the plant’s impact on colonies of protected seabirds. The proposed twin reactors at Wylfa were given the green light by the UK’s nuclear regulator in December, with backers hoping to win financial support from the government. The Welsh plant would have a capacity of 3GW, similar to the 3.2GW of the nuclear power station being built at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Horizon Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, told planning authorities it would submit its planning application for the Wylfa plant by the end of March, which it called a “major milestone”. But the company postponed submitting the development consent order because it needs to thrash out the impact building the power station will have on colonies of sandwich, Arctic and common terns. The species are protected under the EU birds and habitats directive. Nearby Cemlyn nature reserve is home to thousands of sandwich terns, which account for about fifth of the birds’ UK population and is the biggest on the country’s west coast. Wildlife groups are concerned about the effect of noise and light from the power station’s construction, as well as a reduction in food for the birds to forage on. Land clearance for the vast site is also expected to displace potential predators, such as rats and foxes. The company hopes to resolve the issues with the Welsh agency and submit the development consent order (DCO) before the end of June. The delay is expected to be a bump in the road rather than major headache for Horizon, which believes Wylfa could be generating electricity by the mid-2020s. But the firm said its target date for a licence from the UK’s nuclear regulator may be postponed as a result of the planning delays.
Guardian 9th April 2018 read more »
Horizon Nuclear Power said it needed more time to address concerns raised about the impact Wylfa Newydd could have on terns in Cemlyn nature reserve. The firm said it was “confident” it could resolve the issues. Chris Wynne of North Wales Wildlife Trust welcomed the move and said concerns about the impact of building work on terns needed to be looked into. Developers hope work on the £12bn reactor will start in 2020, with power being generated by 2025. The plant will have a 60-year operational life.
BBC 9th April 2018 read more »