Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales: Shortly after the very disappointing news that Hitachi Ltd had decided to withdraw from the Wylfa Newydd site on Anglesey, I convened a round-table discussion to take stock of the implications of the announcement on the island and to agree next steps. Joining me at the meeting were the Leader of Ynys Mȏn County Council, the Ynys Mȏn Member of the Senedd and Member of Parliament, the Secretary of State for Wales, the Chief Executive of Horizon Nuclear Power and other key stakeholders. I would like to share with Members the outcome of those discussions. There was clear agreement that Wylfa is still regarded as the best site in the UK for large scale nuclear development. The site, which could significantly contribute towards the 2050 zero CO2 emissions target, is supported by a strong, committed and well-established local partnership but that support and the community license to operate should not be taken for granted. During the round-table meeting, we agreed the need to continue pressing the UK Government for clarity on nuclear energy policy and crucially, on how any such policy is to be funded. Clarity on UK Government policy and funding route is essential to unlock the site’s future potential. We also agreed that an extension to the Wylfa Newydd Development Consent Order decision beyond 30 September would be beneficial, so that elements of value can be retained for any potential future site solution. I welcome, therefore, the 3 month extension which has since been granted by the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy, taking us to 31 December, 2020. A rapid assessment of the socio-economic needs of the Island was also found to be an important requirement and we will be working closely with Ynys Mȏn County Council and key stakeholders on that assessment. In the meantime, I can confirm that we intend to establish a new development company, Cwmni Egino, at Trawsfynydd. Cwmni Egino will help exploit the huge economic benefits of small modular reactors and associated technologies at Trawsfynydd, including the potential for a medical research reactor, to provide a secure and sustainable supply of medical radioisotopes for Wales, the UK and Europe.
Welsh Government 23rd Oct 2020 read more »