Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 18:21 UK

Wylfa's life 'could be extended'

Wylfa nuclear power station
Wylfa is due to close in 2010

An application to extend the life of Wylfa nuclear plant on Anglesey beyond its closure date of 2010 may be made.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has told BBC Wales that it is looking at two options which could see the plant continue working.

However, Anglesey MP Albert Owen has said it was "premature" to build up hopes regarding the plant beyond 2010.

The NDA said it will look at the plant again next year. Currently there are no plans for future working at Wylfa.

It said it would look at the future of the plant in 2009, possibly giving it a limited extension beyond 2010.

But it is thought this decision will depend on how the plant is working by next year.

The NDA confirmed today they have had a "robust response" from companies who have expressed an interest in building a new generation nuclear power station at Wylfa.

Last month the NDA carried out a "market engagement process" which involved asking companies interested in developing land next to the current Wylfa plant to contact them.

'Good news'

Responding to the NDA news about Wylfa, Anglesey's MP Albert Owen, through a spokesperson, told BBC Wales that it was "premature at this stage to build up hopes and expectation about an extension for Wylfa beyond 2010."

A spokesman for Anglesey Council said: "We are glad that the NDA are considering presenting an application to extend Wylfa beyond 2010 with the assurance that they will be co-operating with the authority that regulates health and safety in the industry.

"This is also good news for the future of Anglesey Aluminium," he said.

The future of the smelting plant, Wylfa's main customer, is tied into the power station.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said: "We recognise the economic importance of the existing nuclear power station in Wales...and support the seeking of an extension to its operating life whilst alternative sources of power generation for the Anglesey Aluminium plant are explored."

According to the NDA website, Wylfa power station was the last and largest power station of its type to be built in the UK.

It states the station, which started generating electricity in 1971, will stop production in 2010.

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