- Wylfa gets two year extension

WYLFA will keep generating power for another two years after getting the green light from nuclear regulators.

The Anglesey nuclear power station was due to start decommissioning this December but staff have been working to make the case that it was safe to keep generating.

Yesterday they received the go ahead from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) to run until 2012.

Extension will secure 650 jobs for another two years.

Nick Gore, Wylfa Site Director, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the news. This is all down to the quality of our staff on site and with our plant and equipment in excellent condition; we can look forward to the future in confidence.”

The site is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and operated by Magnox North. Fuel levels mean Reactor 2 could run to the end of 2012. Reactor 1 has the potential to run on to 2013 but the plant is also restricted by a requirement to have spent fuel sent to Sellafield by 2015.

Once generation does come to an end de-fuelling work would keep a significant number of the 650 staff at the site for a further three years, with jobs in decommissioning after that date.

This could keep trained staff on the island until work starts on the proposed Wylfa B, which could be operational as early as 2020.

Anglesey MP Albert Owen said it was good news for the island.

He added: “I have led on this campaign and the news is good for Anglesey and good for the whole country.”

Charles Hendry, Minister for Energy, said: “The additional income it generates will make a significant contribution to meeting the costs of decommissioning other legacy sites, reducing the bill for the taxpayer.”

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan added: "This is good news for Anglesey and North Wales. Wylfa plays a vital role in the local economy and today's announcement will be a great boost for its workforce.”

The additional revenue from the power station is expected to be in excess of £100m.

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