- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The Welsh Government has confirmed that it is looking at options to retain nuclear decommissioning jobs at Trawsfynydd beyond 2016.
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station is scheduled to enter a critical phase in its decommissioning in December 2016, after which the site would be left until 2021.
Snowdonia Enterprise Zone board chairman John Idris Jones has warned that this could lead to the 700-plus workforce leaving the area to find work elsewhere. He has recommended moving straight to the next phase of decommissioning to retain hundreds of skilled jobs, while more work is done to attract other industries to the area.
At Assembly question time on Wednesday (5 March), Labour Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson asked economy minister Edwina Hart about the Government’s plans for the site. She asked:
“I understand that the board will be making recommendations to you about the future potential of that site, particularly calling for the next phase of decommissioning to be brought forward, to retain the skilled workforce there after 2016. Could you give that consideration in your future work?”
The minister responded:
“Yes. The enterprise board in Trawsfynydd has been undertaking strategic option assessments to define future use…(it) is a very difficult area for us to look at, in terms of how we are going to develop a master plan.
“The options are to transfer, particularly to low-carbon energy and ICT. Many of the areas are non-devolved, which is also very difficult, because we have the whole issue around nuclear power.
“There are definitely no quick fixes for this site. As well as the future options for the site, we are also looking at working with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to influence that decommissioning programme to see if we can bring work there, and keep it there, as a result of decommissioning. However, I will be more than happy, when I have the plan and I have decided what to support, to update Members appropriately.”
Under the Welsh Government’s Enterprise Zone strategy, the aim is for Trawsfynydd to become a hub for low carbon technology enterprises, associated Research & Development uses and ICT/digital enterprises.
Trawsfynydd nuclear power station operated from 1965 to 1991. Decommissioning began in 1995 and is scheduled to be completed by 2083.