Many people would only associate Anglesey with beautiful beaches and ancient sites. Many categorise this island off Wales as a popular tourist destination. However Anglesey was also home to Wales’ 2nd nuclear power station and following the shutdown of Trawsfyndd in 1991 it became the only operational nuclear power station in Wales. This remained the case until in late 2015 Wylfa (Anglesey power station) was decommissioned.
Today if you google Anglesey as a single word you are purely met with information promoting the island as a great place to visit and in particular highlighting some of it’s key ancient sites. However whilst the popularity of Anglesey as a tourist attraction is unlikely to decline the island is hitting the news again with a familiar story.
Developer Horizon Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of Japanese corporate Hitachi, has submitted a development consent order to build a new nuclear plant a short distance south of the original Wylfa site. It is believed the government will be contributing £5billion to this project. Electricity generation is unlikely to commence until mid 2020’s but the build phase is likely to create significant opportunities for workers and local businesses.
Like with any major infrastructure project this proposal has been met by mixed views. From an employment perspective there is a strong feeling of optimism perfectly portrayed by this BBC article focusing on the local community https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-44378314
However as expected the plans have been met by growing concerns of an environmental nature perfectly highlighted by BBC again in this article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-44742292
The reality is any project or initiative of this scale there will be pros and cons but in todays world you would hope companies are very conscious of the responsibility they have to society. Horizon’s proposal has incorporated the importance of protecting environmental and nature issues as well clear contingency plans to restore Greenfield sites should the project not be fulfilled.
Employment opportunities in the short and long term could be significant across a range of professions. This is something that can never be underestimated particularly in rural areas that perhaps lack diversification in their local economy.
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