Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 08:26 UK

Views urged on new nuclear plant

Wylfa nuclear power station
The existing Wylfa nuclear power station is due to stop generating electricity in 2010

Residents are being encouraged to submit their views about plans for a new nuclear power station on Anglesey as part of a public consultation.

A new station at Wylfa on the island is one of the 11 sites which have been nominated as potential locations for a new generation of nuclear stations.

A month-long consultation on Wylfa's nomination begins on Wednesday.

The current plant, which has been operating since 1971, is scheduled to stop generating electricity in 2010.

By 2018, there will be only four nuclear stations operating in the UK but the planned "new generation" is opposed by many environmental groups who want more efforts on renewable energy.

If it was given the go-ahead, the new Wylfa plant would be built over 15 years on nearby farmland and be operational by 2025.

The nomination document highlights the economic benefits to the area.

'Energy island'

Anglesey council leader Phil Fowlie has encouraged residents to air their views.

The site is over 232 hectares, 15km north east of Holyhead - the existing Wylfa plant is next door, to the north west
The new nuclear station would take 15 years to build and be ready for 2025, bringing local economic benefits inc "excellent" short and long term job opportunities
Existing grid connection and direct sea water cooling
Some flood protection - including to safeguard Tre'r Gof SSSI and access roads - and drainage improvements needed; only minor road access improvements required
The rocky coastline at Wylfa is unlikely to be vulnerable to erosion over 100 years
Construction could have a temporary indirect impact on colonies of breeding terns, which can be mitigated. In operation, returning cooling sea water - the preferred option - and marine heating "unlikely" to significantly harm the birds' breeding
"Not possible" to stop some visual impact on heritage coast and area of outstanding natural beauty
Source: Nuclear Decommissioning Authority nomination document

Mr Fowlie said: "The council is backing a new nuclear build on Anglesey, and I welcome this latest consultation as another step in the right direction.

"This process will bring us closer to ensuring that Anglesey remains an important centre for energy generation as the 'Energy Island'.

He added: "Wylfa power station makes an immense contribution to the island's economy. In light of the current economic climate, it's vital we ensure that jobs and skills at the present site are transferred to a new operator."

Public comments on the suitability of the Wylfa plant site will be incorporated into the government's assessment of sites for new nuclear power stations, said the council.

Robin Webster, an energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: "Nuclear power leaves a deadly legacy of radioactive waste that remains highly dangerous for tens of thousands of years and costs tens of billions of pounds to manage.

"Building new reactors would divert precious resources from developing safe, clean renewable power."

She added: "Ministers must exploit the UK's huge potential of wind, solar, marine and hydro power, and embark on a massive national programme of energy efficiency."

There is another public consultation on nuclear power station sites in autumn 2009. The government wants the first reactors operational by 2018.

Members of the public are invited to leave comments on the DECC website They can also visit the planning department reception in Llangefni, and one of the following libraries: Cemaes, Menai Bridge, Beaumaris, Llangefni, Holyhead or Amlwch.

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