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A newly signed Memorandum of Understanding could see investment of up to GBP900 million (USD1.2 billion) in the Welsh nuclear supply chain if the Sizewell C nuclear power plant project receives the go-ahead from the UK government. The MoU between the Sizewell C Consortium and the Welsh government follows news last week that Horizon Nuclear Power had withdrawn its planning application for the Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey.

The Sizewell C Consortium represents almost 200 businesses and trade unions from the UK nuclear supply chain focused on building a nuclear power plant at Sizewell in the English county of Suffolk. The MoU offers Welsh businesses to be part of the supply chain for the Sizewell C project.

Wales has a long history of working with the nuclear sector. The 392 MWe Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant began operation in 1965 and was retired in 1991. As well as the investment and employment opportunities, the MoU would help to retain the nuclear skills base in Wales.

Ken Skates, Welsh economy minister, said: "Wales has a strong history of nuclear expertise and know-how. A number of businesses across the country are now established parts of the global nuclear supply chain and they are now poised to benefit should Sizewell C be given the go-ahead. While we have recently had disappointing news about Wylfa Newydd, we remain committed to that project and the supply chain. This MoU shows how the Welsh expertise in the nuclear industry is in demand and can be used across the UK and further afield."

Cameron Gilmour, Spokesperson of the Sizewell C Consortium, said: "This MoU is a signal of intent from the nuclear industry that Sizewell C can deliver jobs, skills and long-term economic growth right across Wales. The Consortium - with almost 200 members from across the UK - is determined to build on Wales’ proud nuclear heritage and now stands ready to do so."

Horizon, the UK project developer owned by Japan’s Hitachi, last month withdrew its application for planning consent for the Wylfa Newydd plant. In September last year, Hitachi announced it will end its business operations on the project, which it had suspended in January 2019 "because it was clear that further time was needed to decide on a financing structure".

In December, the government announced it would begin talks with EDF to enable investment in the Sizewell C project. The announcement was part of the Energy White Paper that outlined "historic plans" to clean up the country's energy system and "keep bills affordable" as it transitions to net zero. EDF has said Sizewell C will build on progress it is making with its Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, England.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Saturday, 06 February 2021
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