News & Insights


Wylfa named first choice for new large scale nuclear

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has confirmed that Wylfa in Wales is their first choice for a further large-scale nuclear power plant. 

This follows the announcement in March that Great British Nuclear was to buy the Wylfa and Oldbury sites for new nuclear projects in a £160m deal with current owners Hitachi. 

The government is exploring building a major nuclear power station, similar in scale to Hinkley Point C in Somerset and Sizewell C in Suffolk. This new project would revive the nuclear history of Wylfa and bring thousands of jobs and investment to the area, boosting the local economy. It also brings the UK closer to its target for a quarter of electricity to come from homegrown nuclear power by 2050 to strengthen the nation’s energy independence.

Wylfa, sitting on the North Wales coast, is ideally-suited to host one given its proximity to cooling water and nuclear heritage. The prospect of a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa brings the prospect of thousands of jobs to an area already accustomed to nuclear energy, making it easier to establish the required supply chain and skilled workforce. 

The UK is delivering the biggest expansion to nuclear power in 70 years and suitable sites will be critical to meet ambitions to quadruple nuclear capacity by up to 24GW by 2050. This will come from a mix of traditional large-scale power plants and small modular reactors, which can be rolled out more quickly and at scale.

Sasha Davies, Nuclear Institute Trustee and Chair of Wales Nuclear Forum commented: 

"Wylfa is the best site for Gigawatt development in the host community of Anglesey, a community and wider North West Wales area that has a great nuclear heritage and in need of a huge economic boost. The economic benefit to North Wales, Wales and the wider UK will be huge”.

Dr Fiona Rayment OBE FNucI, President of the Nuclear Institute, added:

“This is fantastic news for the energy agenda in the UK, the nuclear industry and the island of Anglesey. I look forward to seeing the next steps as the technology of choice is decided upon”. 

Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho, said:

"We are powering ahead with the biggest expansion of nuclear energy in seventy years. Anglesey has a proud nuclear history and it is only right that, once again, it can play a central role in boosting the UK’s energy security.

Wylfa would not only bring clean, reliable power to millions of homes – it could create thousands of well-paid jobs and bring investment to the local area".

Meanwhile Great British Nuclear aims to announce successful bidders for the small modular reactor competition by the end of this year.

Gwen Parry-Jones CEO of Great British Nuclear said:

"Having agreed to purchase the Wylfa site earlier this year, GBN looks forward to working with the Government on the market engagement programme for large scale gigawatt providers and also delivering this vital project in the years to come."