OPEN LETTER TO MARK DRAKEFORD, FIRST MINISTER OF WALES. Surprise if not disbelief was our response to the story in the Sunday Times today that reported on the Welsh Government being in talks with Hitachi about buying almost 750 acres of land near the Wylfa nuclear power station. It is worrying that your Education Minister, Kirsty Williams did not deny the story in a television interview today. Far too much time, money and political energy has been wasted over the past twenty years in Wales as politicians from all parties in the Senedd in Cardiff have followed the political whims of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson in favour of having a new generation of large nuclear reactors. The history of the site near Wylfa bought by RWE from EdF in 2007 is a perfect illustration of this complete waste of time and money. The RWE/Eon consortium from Germany who set up Horizon stepped aside in March 2012 and were very lucky to sell the Wylfa and Oldbury sites for quite a profit to Hitachi. Of course, over two years have now passed since Hitachi made the majority of the Horizon workforce redundant and suspended work on the Wylfa site. The writing was on the wall and it was only a matter of time before the announcement in September 2020 that Hitachi were giving up completely on building two of its ABWR reactors on the site. To rub salt into the wound, Hitachi has announced Horizon will cease to exist at the end of March, and even more significantly, the Planning Inspectorate’s report on Horizon’s full planning application was published a few days ago noting that the application would not have been approved. The main reasons given for refusal were the substantial effect on the biodiversity of this expansive area that such a huge plan would have, whether the tern colony at Cemlyn or grassland across the site. Significantly also, the inspectors believed that the huge scale of the development would cause great damage to the linguistic balance of the county with the second highest percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales. Stepping in by the Welsh Government immediately after the publication of the Planning Inspectorate’s report to try to buy the site would show extreme lack of judgement and sensitivity. Now, of all times, with the COVID-19 pandemic having turned our world upside down, it would be a totally irresponsible action by your Government to spend millions of pounds on a site which is not considered suitable by the Planning Inspectorate for large nuclear reactors.
PAWB 7th Feb 2021 read more »
A beekeeper in a shadow of the failed nuclear development proposal at Wylfa says the plans being pulled were like “waking up from a nightmare”. Katie Hayward has run Felin Honeybees next to the Wylfa site since 2012 after giving up her well paid job and selling her convertible sports car to raise money. In recent years she had been engaged in a battle with Horizon Nuclear Power over the potential environmental impact during the construction period for the multi-billion pound project on Anglesey. Hitachi announced last year it was withdrawing from the development after failing to agree funding terms with UK Government.
Daily Post 9th Feb 2021 read more »
The Welsh government is attempting to save the troubled Wylfa Newydd nuclear power project on Anglesey by acquiring the site from current owner Hitachi. According to The Times, the Welsh government is trying to take over the £20bn project to keep it alive in a caretaker role until a developer can be found. A stumbling block is understood to be the value of the land, with Hitachi demanding a significant sum.
New Civil Engineer 8th Feb 2021 read more »
Asahi Shimbun 8th Feb 2021 read more »
Plans to build a new nuclear power station in North Wales were likely to be refused even before the project was shelved by backers. UK Government appointed planning inspectors had recommended that the Wylfa Newydd project Anglesey be rejected over a number of concerns from experts. The application has since been withdrawn after Hitachi, the company behind the project, decided that the power plant was too expensive to build without a funding deal with the UK Government in place.
North Wales Chronicle 8th Feb 2021 read more »