Nuclear Energy

1. Questions to the Minister for Climate Change – in the Senedd at on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of Ken Skates Ken Skates Labour

(Translated)

8. Will the Minister make a statement on the nuclear energy sector in Wales? OQ60707

Photo of Julie James Julie James Labour 2:26, 21 February 2024

Thank you very much, Ken, for the question. Nuclear energy is entirely within the portfolio of the Minister for Economy, Llywydd, but I will do my best to answer the question anyway.

Apparently there are three recent publications that help shape nuclear policy and delivery to 2050 across the UK and Wales. Great British Nuclear will be key to project delivery at multiple sites, but its establishment impacts on Cwmni Egino’s future, as well as on the potential for projects at both Trawsfynydd and Wylfa.

Photo of Ken Skates Ken Skates Labour 2:27, 21 February 2024

Many thanks for your answer, Minister. The nuclear sector across Wales is, of course, very strong and especially in the north where it forms part of the buoyant nuclear arc, and we have many investors in the region. And there's renewed talk, of course, of a possible new nuclear reactor at Wylfa. Can you assure us that the Welsh Government has assessed the needs of existing and potential investors in the sector as part of a clean-energy drive, so that we're able to deploy support that aligns with whatever might be available from local and UK Governments?

Photo of Julie James Julie James Labour 2:28, 21 February 2024

Thank you very much for that, Ken. I understand from discussions with developers and members of the Wales nuclear forum in recent years that the key requirement for both existing and potential investors revolves around the need for suitable skilled people and premises. And in the nuclear sector in particular, investors also crave stability and consistency in Government policy to generate confidence and market resilience. 

We're really pleased that Westinghouse’s decision to locate its UK decommissioning function at M-SParc on Ynys Môn, as well as the referenced Boccard investment on Deeside, arose from an assessment by both companies of the local availability of skilled personnel and suitable premises, the supportive Welsh Government environment and the potential future project opportunities in north Wales. I think this is a really good example, once again, of team Wales coming together to showcase the skills and the really good positioning, and a stable Government policy position around this, in contrast to that which we've seen across the border. 

The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee report on 'Nuclear energy and the Welsh economy' is published today and the recommendations contained there will be carefully considered as we look to see what future Cwmni Egino in particular might have, given the outcome of that report.