A LEADER of the North Wales Growth Bid has welcomed a £200m Government deal with the nuclear sector to ensure it will power the UK for years to come.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced the news at Trawsfynydd power station last week.
It was welcomed by Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, leader of Gwynedd County Council and Vice-Chairman of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, driving force behind the Growth Bid and overall Growth Vision for the region.
One of the eight programmes in the Bid includes a £10m Small Modular Nuclear Reactor exploration and development project at Trawsfynydd.
Cllr Siencyn said: "The announcement by the UK Government recognises the significant potential that North Wales has to contribute towards the development of the nuclear industry, and we believe that Trawsfynydd could be central to this regional centre of excellence.
He added: "Playing a full role in this developing nuclear hub, particularly through the siting of a Small Modular Reactor would make the best possible use of the site's characteristics and the high-level technical skills that already exist in Meirionnydd. Most importantly it would ensure a supply of quality jobs for future generations of local people."
Mr Clark revealed the scheme includes a £32 million boost from Government and industry to kick-start new advanced manufacturing programme including R&D investment to develop potential world-leading nuclear technologies like Advanced Modular Reactors.
"The UK is the home of civil nuclear technology and with this investment in innovation and our commitment to increasing diversity in an already highly-skilled workforce, I want to ensure we remain the world leader," he said.
"Nuclear energy not only fuels our power supply, it fuels local jobs, wages, economic prosperity and drives UK innovation. This Sector Deal marks an important moment for the Government and industry to work collectively to deliver the modern Industrial Strategy, drive clean growth and ensure civil nuclear remains an important part of the UK's energy future."
The Sector Deal will also see:
- The unlocking of growth opportunities in the nuclear supply chain through joint Government and industry support for smaller companies in the UK to access higher value contracts and new markets
- Up to £44 million for research and development funding to support the development of Advanced Modular reactors
- A dynamic new partnership with Welsh Government to develop a £40 million thermal hydraulics facility in North Wales as part of the Nuclear Innovation Programme- to support the design and development of advanced nuclear technologies
- A significant reduction in the high costs associated with the sector through investment in new world-class technology- meaning nuclear energy can be produced in a more cost-effective way- and cheaper bills and peace of mind for energy consumers
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