THE UK Governemt could support plans to revive a stalled new Wylfa nuclear power station on Ynys Mon.

The government’s new net zero strategy commits to increasing the UK's nuclear capacity and includes a £120 million “future nuclear enabling fund” for new technologies.

Welsh anti-nuclear campaigners have already pledged to oppose any nuclear power generation in Wales.

The document said negotiations were continuing to take the Sizewell C scheme in Sussex forward - which would be the 'front runner' for new investment - and suggested that other sites, including Wylfa west of Cemaes Bay, could be used for future projects.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said new nuclear power stations will produce clean electricity and help protect the UK from global energy price spikes.

Since the closure of Wylfa, in 2015, Wales hasn't had any nuclear power stations though the Welsh Government is supporting studies into the feasibility of developing new smaller scale reactors at the former Traswfynydd Nuclear Power Station, in Gwynedd which shut down in 1991.

READ MORE: 'Wales needs to forget nuclear power forever'

Boris Johnson has sought to pitch government backing for UK nuclear generation as an investment in clean and secure energy generation with Britain currently gripped by rising wholesale gas price rises which are hitting consumers.

The prime minister said: "We will make sure what you pay for green, clean electricity is competitive with carbon-laden gas, and with most of our electricity coming from the wind farms of the North Sea or state-of-the-art British nuclear reactors, we will reduce our vulnerability to sudden price rises caused by fluctuating international fossil fuel markets.”

The strategy restated the UK Government’s commitment to bring at least one large-scale nuclear project to the point of a final investment decision by the end of the Parliament, currently expected in 2024, and in December 2020 the Government announced the start of formal negotiations on Sizewell C in Suffolk.

It now intends to introduce a “regulated asset base” funding model to help secure investment in new nuclear plants.

Plans for Wylfa have stalled after Horizon Nuclear Power pulled out in January due to a lack of funding options from the UK Government and Japanese-backers Hitachi pulled out of the £20bn project last September.

The UK Government has remained in talks with potential investors.

READ MORE: Ynys Môn council economic chief reiterates Wylfa support

The Government said it would also look at other schemes, including small modular reactors (SMR), which are more flexible and affordable than traditional power stations.

Alongside the new £120 million fund, which will “provide target support in relation to barriers to entry”, a previously announced £385 million package will support SMR design.

“Whether large or small-scale projects, there remain a number of possible sites available for these options, including Wylfa in north Wales,” the document said.

The document confirms both the Welsh and UK Governments are interested in exploring the potential of new nuclear technologies in north Wales. The sector, despite its many critics and opponents, has made an important economic contribution to the region which has cut across traditional party political lines.

Robat Idris, of the campaign group PAWB Ynys Môn, said it is opposed to any nuclear plants or reactors in Wales.

He said the government is also pushing nuclear power generation to safeguard skills used in nuclear defence and Britain's Trident submarines.

READ MORE: Should Wales turn to nuclear to meet climate goals?

"This movement towards building reactors to produce electricity is closely related to their wish to safeguard skills in the reactors they provide for submarines carrying nuclear weapons. Civil and military nuclear are two sides of the same coin," said Mr Idris.

The group says it questions whether new nuclear plants are affordable, with the previous backers having already pulled out from Wylfa, and said it disputes the portrayal of nuclear as a clean, or "green", energy source or that it is accurate to describe the new style reactors as small.

READ MORE: Nuclear reactor will not be built in Pembrokeshire

"The favoured reactor is the Rolls Royce SMR, namely ‘Small Modular Reactor’. This term is very misleading as the Rolls Royce reactor would produce 450MW of electricity, which is more than the output of the old Magnox station at Trawsfynydd, and the same size as one of old big Magnox reactors at Wylfa.

"Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous, extortionately expensive, and a threat to environmental and human health. Every pound wasted on nuclear power will be a pound taken away from faster and more effective solutions offered by renewable energy and energy conservation."

READ MORE: World's biggest anti-nuclear protest started in Wales

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “It is very welcome to see the government commit new money to the development of nuclear projects and set out its intention to bring Sizewell C to a final investment decision.”

Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary of the Prospect trade union, said: “This is a welcome announcement to accelerate the development of new nuclear energy generation, but we now need urgent support to turn these words into action.

“Confirmation of support for Sizewell C is an important first step but it is far from enough if we are going to meet our climate targets and replace the firm power capacity that is coming offline in the next few years.”

Additional reporting by David Hughes, PA Political Editor

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