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UK Government confirms ongoing conversations around the sale of the Wylfa nuclear site but offers no commitment to Welsh supply chains

7 July 2023

In response to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s report, Nuclear energy in Wales, the UK Government confirms that conversations are ongoing around the Wylfa nuclear site, along with a “strong dialogue” to how best enable the UK Government’s nuclear energy ambitions.

Hitachi has owned the nuclear site at Wylfa since 2012, and the Committee is keen to see the land made available for another developer who would like to take forward a nuclear energy project. The UK Government reflects on Hitachi’s continued ownership, and recognises that any sale will be a commercial decision for the company. However, the response does state that there remains a strong dialogue between the UK Government and all nuclear site owners.

In its report published in May, the Committee raised concern that the nuclear sector needed greater clarity from the UK Government on nuclear energy. In response, the UK Government set out details of upcoming nuclear energy policy interventions, including the process of Great British Nuclear’s small modular reactor (SMR) competition. The leading technologies, it states, will be determined later this year.

In its reports on energy in Wales, including in its recent Floating Offshore Wind report, the Committee makes clear the opportunities for Wales’ supply chains and businesses of large scale energy infrastructure. The Committee recommended that policy is set out as to how to grow the sector in Wales, including making sure the required skills are in place. However in response, the UK Government has said that it will not place a requirement on developers to use a minimum level of local content during a nuclear energy project.

Chair's comment

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

“Wylfa is the next best nuclear site, after Sizewell C, to realise the UK Government’s nuclear energy ambitions. It is promising that there is a constructive and positive relationship between Ministers and Hitachi, but would like to see more progress in finding a buyer to crack on with creating a nuclear power plant.

“Great British Nuclear, as called for and welcomed by our Committee, is a strong and positive move by the UK Government to illustrate its commitment to the sector. Its response to our report today sets out some early priorities, and I look forward to learning of the successful SMR projects later this year.

“We mustn’t lose momentum on the nuclear energy agenda, particularly given the enormous benefits it can provide for people and businesses across Wales.” 

Further information

Image: Ian Cappla/Geograph