In a significant development for the energy sector, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has officially announced plans for the construction of a new small nuclear power station in Trawsfynydd, located in the scenic Snowdonia region of Wales. Speaking at the Welsh Conservative party conference in Newtown, Johnson confirmed that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Cwmni Egino will join forces to spearhead the development of this innovative nuclear facility at the Trawsfynydd site in north Wales.
The NDA, responsible for overseeing the decommissioning of the existing Magnox station at Trawsfynydd, which is operated by Magnox Ltd., an NDA subsidiary, also owns adjoining land that holds immense potential for the new nuclear project. Under the newly formed collaboration, the NDA will share crucial information about the available land, decommissioning plans, and socio-economic development with Cwmni Egino. This cooperative effort will enable Cwmni Egino to engage with prospective developers and technology providers who are keen on participating in the development of the Trawsfynydd site. With the goal of presenting its initial business proposition within the coming year, Cwmni Egino is poised to make significant strides in shaping the future of this nuclear endeavour.
Cwmni Egino has embarked on a collaborative journey with Great British Nuclear, a government body recently established under the leadership of Simon Bowen, to advance the cause of new nuclear projects. The NDA's CEO, David Peattie, has expressed the organization's unwavering commitment to supporting the government's energy goals, while Gwen Parry-Jones, CEO of Magnox, has hailed the collaboration as a tremendous development for Trawsfynydd, emphasising the shared mission to safely clean up the site for future purposes. Alan Raymant, CEO of Cwmni Egino, has underscored the pivotal role played by their partnership with the NDA and Magnox, highlighting the positive impact it will have on their vision for the new nuclear development at Trawsfynydd. Notably, this collaboration will bring numerous benefits to the local community and contribute to the broader Energy Security Strategy.
The announcement of the Trawsfynydd project follows Boris Johnson's recent endorsement of plans to construct a nuclear power station at the Wylfa site on Anglesey, potentially resulting in the establishment of two new nuclear power plants in Wales. Rolls-Royce SMR, a key player in the industry, has warmly welcomed this development. Rolls-Royce has already submitted designs for small reactors at both Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, underlining their commitment to driving innovation in the field. The Trawsfynydd site stands out due to its existing grid connection, well-established infrastructure, access to a skilled workforce, and the presence of a supportive local community. Rolls-Royce SMR has set its sights on securing UK regulatory approval for its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) by mid-2024 and aims to commence operations as early as 2029, two years ahead of schedule.
In the broader context, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), alongside larger-scale nuclear plants, are deemed essential in addressing the ongoing energy crisis and achieving the ambitious net-zero targets in the UK. This commitment to nuclear power growth is underscored by the government's establishment of Great British Nuclear and its comprehensive energy security strategy, which collectively aim to facilitate the integration of nuclear power into the national grid and ensure a sustainable and resilient energy future for the country.