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EC grants environmental approval for £16bn Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant

Horizon Nuclear Power said that it has secured an environmental approval from the European Commission (EC) for its 2,700MW Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station in Anglesey, North Wales.

The company said that the EC had adopted a positive opinion under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty on the £16bn nuclear power plant while stating that it will not have any major health or environmental impacts on other member states in the European Union (EU).

According to Horizon, the UK government’s submission to the EC outlined the company’s planned safety and containment steps to ensure that the radioactive waste disposed from the nuclear plant will not lead to material contamination for any other EU states.

The company said that the submission was evaluated in terms of routine operations, decommissioning and spent fuel storage and also in the scenario of accidental release. The EC found the planned steps by Horizon to be in full accordance with European safety standards under all scenarios.

Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne said: “Approval under Article 37 is another key project milestone for Wylfa Newydd and one that adds to the significant momentum now behind the project.”

“Ensuring the safe operations of our power stations will always be our first and overriding priority and to get this approval – following a very thorough and detailed assessment by the Commission – is another confirmation that we are putting robust plans in place to do just this.

“We will now continue to work with the environmental regulator in Wales to take this clearance forward for the domestic permits Wylfa Newydd also requires.”

Horizon is targeting to place the Wylfa Newydd into operations in the mid 2020s with construction expected to begin in 2020, subject to receipt of approvals.

The Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station will feature two advanced boiling water reactors and will be built next to the now defunct 980MW Magnox Wylfa Power Station, which operated from 1971 to 2015.

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