Wales will benefit from new nuclear: NIA response to Welsh Affairs Select Committee report

Posted On: 
26th July 2016

The Welsh Affairs Committee’s report ‘The Future of Nuclear Power in Wales’ shows how the Welsh economy will benefit from new nuclear power in Wales, and has been welcomed today by the trade body for the nuclear industry, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). 

Commenting on the report, Chief Executive of the NIA, Tom Greatrex, said:

“The nuclear industry has been a significant part of the Welsh economy creating jobs and prosperity for Wales for over 50 years as the committee’s report makes clear.

“The select committee has highlighted the civil nuclear expertise which already exists in Wales and how future projects will be able to benefit from that knowledge and skill. Wylfa Newydd, being developed by Horizon Nuclear Power on Anglesey, will create thousands of jobs during construction and operation, and is already actively engaging with schools and businesses in Wales to ensure the local communities benefit from the new power station.”

On the report’s findings on cost Tom Greatrex continued:

“The committee is right in its conclusion that nuclear power provides ‘value for money for a secure and reliable source of low-carbon power’ and that it is cost competitive with other forms of low carbon energy generation. A key difference between building a nuclear power station today, and what happened historically, is that the developer and not the Government pays to build the power station. The bill payer only contributes when the station in generating power.

“This means the investment for all nuclear new build programmes include construction, operational, and decommissioning costs – all of which are the responsibility of the developer.”

On Trawsfynydd as a site for a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor (SMR)

“The potential development of SMRs is an exciting prospect for UK industry and it is welcome that the committee sees the potential for SMRs in Wales and Trawsfynydd as a future site. These new reactors can complement larger scale new build projects, and could have a positive economic impact in the local economy creating jobs and providing a further source of low carbon power.”

On decommissioning and waste management

“As a pioneer of civil nuclear technology, the UK has a vast knowledge of decommissioning and waste management techniques developed over many years. The safe and secure management of nuclear waste is of the highest priority to the industry.

“While we agree with the committee that a geological disposal facility is needed for the long term storage of nuclear waste, the nuclear industry is dealing with the current waste in a safe and responsible way.”