Cwmni Egino has set out its ambition for Trawsfynydd to become the site of the UK’s first small-scale nuclear generation. The Welsh Government-backed company was set up in 2021 to create sustainable jobs and promote economic and social regeneration by facilitating development on the site of the former nuclear power station.
The existing Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant, which at its peak employed over 700 people, was closed in 1993 and decommissioning has been underway since 1995. Today, Cwmni Egino is embarking on an ambitious program to bring the technology small modular reactors (SMR) on the site. , with a target date for the start of construction in 2027.
The company is working with the landowner, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), to advance siting plans for a new nuclear development. Cwmni Egino also welcomed the formation of Great British Nuclear (GBN), a UK government body recently created to come up with new projects, and looks forward to working with GBN as Trawsfynydd’s plans develop.
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Cwmni Egino Managing Director, Alan Raymant, said: “Trawsfynydd offers an unprecedented opportunity for the fastest deployment of SMR technology in the UK given the characteristics and heritage of the site, as well as the skills and existing infrastructure available. By linking the energy security challenge with the socio-economic challenge, we believe that the future development of Traws can create many benefits for all.
“As well as delivering local benefits, there is huge potential to promote supply chain, skills development and business opportunities in the North Wales region and across the UK. This type of development at Trawsfynydd will also help meet energy needs and Net Zero goals, and support the upgrade program.
The UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy released in April pledged to accelerate its nuclear programme, including the deployment of SMRs. As the design of SMR technology is still under development in the UK, Cwmni Egino has not yet made a decision on which technology is best suited for Trawsfynydd. Rolls Royce SMR is leading the development of small reactors in the UK and has named Traws and Wylfa as potential sites.
Alan added: “We aim to enter into exploratory discussions with potential technology partners over the coming months as we continue to work with others to develop our detailed proposals for the site. We have established an ambitious build-based program beginning as early as 2027. Indeed, we recognize that significant benefits can arise from construction, as well as operation. The sooner we can secure these benefits for communities, the better.
“Before that, there is clearly a lot of work to be done, at the pace. Our focus for the coming months will be to put together a full business proposal to define the scope of the project, how it will be delivered and funded, and how we can ensure a positive impact on communities.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “There is a lot of potential at the Trawsfynydd site. We created Cwmni Egino so that this potential could be realized. The team is now in place and work is progressing well. Future development of the Trawsfynydd site will benefit the local community and the wider North Wales region, providing employment and skills opportunities. This is an ambitious project that can bring real economic benefits to North West Wales and beyond.
Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said: I believe Wales should play a leading and ambitious role in developing low carbon energy technologies in an interconnected world where accessibility and security energy will become increasingly important. I also look forward to the quality jobs and sustainable social and economic opportunities for Meirionnydd and Gwynedd that will be associated with these plans.