THE Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Chief Executive, Dylan J. Williams, has welcomed the UK Government’s new Energy Security Strategy announcement with cautious optimism. It is claimed that it gives fresh hope to developing a nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey.

A new government body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up to bring forward new projects as soon as possible this decade, including the Wylfa site.

Mr Williams said:

“There now appears to be real impetus within the UK Government to bring new nuclear to Wylfa, as part of a secure future energy mix which would reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and meet net zero targets. It is vital, of course, that we take lessons learnt from our experiences of past nuclear development on Anglesey and ensure that they positively influence future plans.”

“We remain committed to hosting a nuclear power station on Anglesey on the condition that it delivers long term transformational benefits – in terms of local jobs, supply chain opportunities, and prosperity for our communities and residents. Respecting the Island’s communities, safeguarding the Welsh language and culture and protecting the environment as well as a commitment to meaningful public engagement remain important red lines.”

“We are ready to continue to collaborate with the UK Government to develop and deliver the new Wylfa project. The Council’s previous experience of working on a nuclear project and our understanding of the Island and its communities need to be fully utilised.”

He added:

“Having previously worked with Horizon Nuclear Power, who were behind the proposed Wylfa Newydd project, we also have a strong indication of the significant economic and community benefits that new nuclear can bring a community. Any future development at Wylfa must bring major and long-term socio-economic benefits for our Island and communities.”

Anglesey has a proud tradition of power generation with the recently decommissioned Wylfa Nuclear Power Station providing quality and stable employment during its construction in the early 1960s and after it became operational in 1971.

The County Council launched its own ‘Anglesey Energy Island Programme’ in 2010. Today, it continues to see the public, private and third sectors working together to put Anglesey at the forefront of low carbon energy and create significant economic rewards.

Anglesey’s Head of Regulation and Economic Development, Christian Branch, said:

“Our priority now will be to continue to engage with both UK and Welsh Government, potential developers and regional stakeholders to ensure that Wylfa is at the forefront of their thinking.”

“A new nuclear power station at Wylfa has the potential to transform the economy of Anglesey, particularly the north of the Island, and the whole of North Wales. It would be a significant enabler to create substantial jobs and supply chain opportunities for generations to come.”

“However, we are also very mindful that the voices, needs and concerns of neighbouring villages and towns of the host community must be taken fully into account throughout the development of the Wylfa project.”

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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