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Could Wylfa be the UK’s next nuclear power station? MPs launch new inquiry

26 May 2022

The Welsh Affairs Committee has today launched a new inquiry looking at Nuclear energy in Wales.

At present, low carbon nuclear supplies 15% of British electricity supply. With concerns around energy security heightened since the war in Ukraine, the UK Government published its Energy Security Strategy which made clear its ambitions for nuclear energy. By 2050, it aims to power 25% of British homes using nuclear energy. Wylfa on Anglesey is one of the sites mentioned in the Energy Security strategy that could be given the go-ahead.

The new inquiry follows a one-off evidence session the Committee held in September 2021. At the time, members heard from industry and safety experts, potential developers at the site and a senior official at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Committee will now be building on this evidence base. It will consider Wales’ role in the UK Government’s nuclear ambitions, the economic impact of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and the development of nuclear technologies, such as small modular reactors.

Chair's comment

Welsh Affairs Committee Chair, Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, said:

“For many years, there has been back and forth over a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. Now that the Government has made clear in its Energy Security Strategy that nuclear is back on the table, Wylfa Newydd appears top of the list.

“Our Committee is keen to scrutinise the Government’s plans to revive nuclear energy generation in Wales, and support for nuclear technologies like small modular reactors. I invite anyone with views to submit evidence to our Committee."

Terms of reference

The Committee invites written submissions, addressing any or all of the issues raised in the following terms of reference, by Friday 12 August 2022:

  • What role can, or should, nuclear power play in achieving net zero and UK energy security?
  • What are the main challenges to delivering the UK Government’s commitment to bring at least one large-scale nuclear project to final investment decision by the end of this Parliament?
  • How important is the finance model to ensuring a successful nuclear project, and is the regulated asset base (RAB) model the best one to deliver this?
  • What practical steps can the UK Government take to support the nuclear industry in developing a range of nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors?
  • What would the likely cost be to the taxpayer of the UK Government supporting the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa?
  • What is the potential economic impact for Wales of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa?

Further information

Image: Ian Capper/Geograph