Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is long proven at large scale and Wales has two locations of decommissioned power stations at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd. Although not technically classed as a renewable energy source, nuclear energy is often grouped to together with renewables as it is low carbon, and up to 98% of nuclear waste can now be reused.  It is, however, the most expensive form of low carbon electricity and needs a long build period.

New Generation

Both the UK and Welsh Governments support the use of nuclear power to produce low carbon electricity. This may be a combination of “conventional” scale nuclear, or new “small modular reactors” known as SMRs, an emerging technology based largely on small reactors, like those used in military ships and submarines.

Better Locations

While the original locations for nuclear power stations were chosen in the 1950’s to be very remote, rural locations due to fears around accidents and safety, after many years of successful operation, and significant advances in nuclear science, this is no longer the case.  This makes nuclear, particularly SMRs extremely flexible to locate.

Future Options

CPRW believes that future nuclear power stations should no longer need to be located within open or remote countryside but instead should be:

  • close to major centres of electricity demand, to minimise unsightly and expensive grid connections.
  • close to industrial or domestic “heat sinks” to make best use of low carbon, “waste” heat.
  • on major brownfield sites, such as former coal power station sites, that have existing grid infrastructure.