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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Island 'hopeful' on nuclear plant

Anglesey Council leaders say they are "hopeful" that a new nuclear power station could be built on the island.

It follows the go-ahead for a new wave of UK nuclear power stations in the UK government's energy review.

Council leader Gareth Winston Roberts said a new nuclear plant was "central to safeguarding key jobs".

The review also proposes changes to speed up offshore windfarm planning applications and a new study on tidal power in the Severn estuary.

The existing Wylfa nuclear power station near Cemaes is due to be decommissioned in 2010.

Its closure could also jeopardise the future of Anglesey Aluminium, which receives its power supply from the plant.

The council has already lobbied for a replacement for Wylfa.

The review said that decisions on replacing Britain's nuclear power stations need to be made in the next few years, which will be built by the private sector.

'Boost for renewables'

Mr Roberts said: "We came out in favour of nuclear energy in March, and I am hopeful that Anglesey will be one of the sites favoured by the government for a new power station."

He said the council would now be working with the Department of Trade and Industry and local stakeholders "to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place so that Anglesey can support the next generation of nuclear power stations."

Severn estuary
A review of tidal energy in the Severn estuary is proposed

Wylfa on Anglesey was commissioned in 1963, opened in 1971, and is due to stop operating in 2010.

Rhodri Morgan's assembly government has said it "does not see the need" for Wales to have new nuclear plants.

Friends of the Earth said building new nuclear power plants would be "unsafe, uneconomic and unnecessary".

The energy review aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions and secure Britain's energy supply.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain welcomed the review, saying it would provide "a massive new boost for renewables," raising the target for renewable energy to 20 per cent by 2020.

He added: "The proposed changes to the planning system will reduce the time it takes to get approval for big renewable energy projects like offshore windfarms, which can make a big contribution to cutting emissions."

The review says government and agencies should "explore" the issue of tidal energy in the Severn estuary although it admitted plans for a 14bn barrage "raise strong environmental concerns".

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