Welsh green jobs plan misses new plant benefits

Welsh green jobs plan misses new plant benefits

Welsh Assembly plans to increase the number of low carbon jobs and business opportunities in Wales fail to take account of the benefits of potential nuclear new build at Wylfa, says the union representing 15,000 engineers and scientists in the nuclear industry.

The warning comes in Prospect’s response to the Assembly’s consultation paper “Green Jobs for Wales,” which examines ways in which the government can support organisations and employers to improve their environmental performance and take advantage of the new growth market in green products and services.

While applauding the aims of the consultation, Alan Rowlands, senior Prospect rep at Wylfa power station, said the policy could not be considered in isolation from its context.

In a letter to the Assembly’s Sustainable Business Team, Rowlands called for a revision to take account of new low-carbon jobs and the benefits to the socio-economic fabric of north-west Wales that building a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa would provide.

The letter says: “The current nuclear power station at Wylfa has sent out well in excess of over 200Twh (terawatt-hour) of low-carbon electricity and, in doing so, prevented the production of 200 million tons of CO2. The site has done this whilst at the same time contributing significantly to the sustainability of the communities in north Anglesey…

“It is important that the broad energy mix and extensive employment opportunities are recognised in the document – especially those for north-west Wales coming from such low-carbon development. It is important that the Welsh supply chain is able to take advantage of the long-term opportunities involved in supporting this low-carbon form of electricity production.”

Wylfa is one of the last two Magnox reactor sites to continue generating electricity. It employs 650 workers, including over 200 Prospect engineers, managers and specialists. It is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and managed by EnergySolutions.