North West Wales

Wylfa B developer 'taking stock' after Japan emergency

The nuclear emergency in Japan following the earthquake may affect plans for a new nuclear power station on Anglesey.

The company behind the Wylfa B proposals says it needs to take stock after the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Horizon Nuclear Power says it would make sure its plans for Wylfa reflected any safety lessons from Japan.

Campaign group Pawb said it had warned another nuclear disaster could happen.

Efforts resumed on Tuesday at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to restore electrical power and cool its overheating reactors.

On Anglesey surveying work is still going on in the shadow of the current plant which has been given permission to continue to generate electricity until 2012.

Horizon Nuclear Power is developing options for two to three new reactors next to the existing Magnox station.

The reactors would be capable of producing three times as much electricity as the current plant.

According to the proposals, about 5,000 construction jobs would be created while the plant is built, and between 800 and 1,000 people would be employed in the station from 2020.

Until the Japanese, earthquake and tsunami, the Anglesey project seemed to be moving forward unhindered, but now things have changed.

Horizon Nuclear Power, the company behind proposals for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey, today said it is continuing with its development programme and will take full account of the learnings from recent events in Japan.

Alan Raymant, chief operating officer of Horizon said events in Japan had shocked the world and problems with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant "must be, and are being, taken very seriously by the nuclear industry".

He added: "The geology on Anglesey, and the technologies that my company, Horizon Nuclear Power, is considering for a new power station at Wylfa are both different to the circumstances in Japan.

"Nevertheless it's right that we learn the lessons from those events."

Mr Raymant said the company was continuing to develop its proposals but "what we must and will do is make sure our plans reflect the learnings from the forthcoming Chief Nuclear Inspector's report into the events in Japan".

He added: "We have always promised the people of Anglesey and North Wales that safety is our number one priority. That remains the case and is the basis on which we'll go forward."

Campaign group Pawb (People Against Wylfa B) said the Japanese incident was changing the way people were thinking about nuclear power.

Image caption Reactors at Fukushima Daiichi suffered severe damage

"The Fukushima nuclear disaster is a game changer," said Dylan Morgan from Pawb.

"People are very worried about what they see.

"What we've been warning of all along, that another nuclear disaster similar to Chernobyl would happen, has happened," he added.

A Wylfa B plant is seen by many as a saviour for the economy of Anglesey.

People on the street of Cemaes, the closest village to the current Wylfa plant, told BBC Wales, that they wanted the project to carry on.

Sasha Davies, the director of Anglesey Energy Island, said any delay to the project would however strengthen the safety aspect of any development.

It will lead "to an even more robust safety perspective for the nuclear industry in the UK which is already one of the strongest on safety globally", she added.

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