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Geoff de Wolf, Cenmaes community councillor
"If Wylfa closed, Anglesey Aluminium would follow"
 real 28k

BBC Wa;es's environment correspondent Roger Pinney
"The fate of hundreds of workers hangs on the decision"
 real 56k

Thursday, 25 January, 2001, 19:03 GMT
Wylfa's future may be at risk
Wylfa power station, Anglesey
Wylfa will not be powered by Magrox fuel
The long-term future of a nuclear power station in north Wales has been put in doubt.

A decision has been made by the operators of Wylfa power station not to use a type of fuel seen as vital to extending the plant's life.

BNFL said they have dropped the option to use Magrox fuel to power the Anglesey plant - which has been closed for the last nine months because of problems with welds in the reactors.

The company said it is looking to see if there is an alternative technical option to Magrox which would allow the station to extend its life beyond 2012.

But the plant's current licence only lasts until 2004 - and a case to reopen the plant is currently being considered by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

'Serious doubts'

BNFL said its plans to drop Magrox fuel followed a "detailed review of the technical, financial and commercial issues".

The fuel is a modified version of advanced gas-cooled reactor fuel slightly adapted for use in Magnox reactors.

But anti-nuclear campaigners had raised serious doubts about the safety of the fuel.

BNFL said their decision was made on purely commercial grounds, and was a business decision.

A hard look had been taken at the long term value of Magrox to the company - investment early on would have been significant, but there were commercial risks involved.

The company claimed on Thursday that Wylfa still had many years of service ahead of it - which is why it was not announcing a lifetime-end date for the station at this stage.

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23 May 00 | Wales
Wylfa could operate until 2016
20 Feb 00 | Wales
Reactor accident was 'worrying'
23 Apr 00 | Wales
Power station out of action
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