Greenpeace UK believes plans announced by the government this week to take a one-third stake in a proposed new nuclear power plant, Wylfa Newyydd in Wales, may be illegal under EU competition rules. It said it would seek “urgent clarification” and called on the government to carry out a full consultation before a deal is signed.
Plant owner Horizon Nuclear Power responded to secretary of state Greg Clark’s announcement has now submitted an application for a Development Consent Order.
In addition, Horizon has submitted applications for a marine licence, Operations Combustion permit, Operations Water Discharge permit and Construction Water Discharge permit from Natural Resources Wales.
Dr Nina Skurupska CBE, chief executive, Renewable Energy Association:
“The government needs to carefully consider the value for money argument before intervening with significant taxpayer support for the multibillion-pound nuclear power plant at Wylfa Newydd.
“Hitachi’s struggles to fund the project privately represent one of the great challenges facing the nuclear industry, that it is highly complex and costly to design, build, operate and maintain a nuclear power station.
“The costs of renewables are falling all the time whilst the clean technology sector continues to set records for generation, it is much quicker & cheaper to build an energy from waste, solar, wind or biomass plant than continue to pursue nuclear investment.”
Matt Rooney, engineering policy adviser, Institution of Mechanical Engineers:
“The Institution of Mechanical Engineers welcomes this step …
“Both the construction of the plant, and its operation, would provide hundreds of high-skilled engineering jobs in North Wales for decades to come. It would also bolster the long-term outlook for the nuclear manufacturing supply chain in the UK. This is especially important following the decision to leave the European Union, and the potential loss of access to the single market for nuclear good and services.
“The statement by the government that it may invest directly in electricity generation is a major development. It recognises the important role that state financing could play in reducing the cost of large-scale, low-carbon energy projects.”
Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary, Prospect:
“The government’s decision to take a direct stake in the Wylfa nuclear power plant is a sensible move that needs to be adopted for wider UK energy policy decisions to allow a low-carbon infrastructure to be fully developed.
“By taking a share in this project the costs can be lowered, work can be directed to UK companies and the UK’s skills base can be developed. In order to capitalise on this the government must take a similar approach to other sites such as Moorside in Cumbria.
“This decision cannot be viewed as a one-off and needs to be seen as a wider deal.”