The nuclear power plant that shut 30 years ago but still towers over a Welsh village. Despite it being closed for decades, it still employs people and could soon create work for more, but it remains a fiercely controversial development. Looming on its skyline is a sight familiar to many who have passed through in the past 50 years or so; the twin reactors of Trawsfynydd nuclear power station. Since construction of the plant began in July, 1959, before its opening in 1965, it has shaped the economy of the surrounding area, even since it was shut 30 years ago. For more than 20 years the site employed people from the village itself, Blaenau Ffestiniog and beyond. It has continued to employ hundreds in the years since it closed and its future use has been a continuous topic of debate. Today, Trawsfynydd has been in the decommissioning process for longer than it was open. Since closing in 1991 it has continued to bring employment to the region and there have been mooted plans for its future. Last year it was revealed that Rolls-Royce were interested in building a network of mini-reactors on the site, and there have been talks of a possible small nuclear reactor (SMR) site there since 2015. In July, 2020, Trawsfynydd was chosen to be part of a decommissioning programme which will see its twin reactors fully demolished while a new low-level radioactive waste store is built on the site to hold the material. The programme means that the decommissioning of the station, which hadn’t been expected to be completed until around 2083, will be brought forward and will see continued employment on the site for the next 20 years.
Wales Online 18th April 2021 read more »