The UK government has designated Wylfa in Anglesey, North Wales, as the preferred location for its next large-scale nuclear power station.

The decision follows the acquisition of the site from Hitachi for £160m in early 2024, after the company halted its nuclear project plans in 2019. This is the first government land acquisition for nuclear power since the 1960s.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has confirmed Wylfa as the chosen site for the UK’s third new mega-nuclear facility.

This initiative is part of the government’s strategy to meet a quarter of the nation’s electricity demand through domestic nuclear power by 2050.

It is now initiating discussions with international energy companies regarding the construction of the new plant.

The proposed facility will generate sufficient energy to power six million homes for 60 years, contributing to the UK’s clean energy objectives.

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Wylfa’s location on the North Wales coast is considered ideal due to its access to cooling water and a history of nuclear activity.

Great British Nuclear, responsible for conducting the world’s fastest small modular reactor competition, also identified Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire as a potential location for a new nuclear project.

Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary of State Claire Coutinho said: “We are powering ahead with the biggest expansion of nuclear energy in seventy years. Anglesey has a proud nuclear history and it is only right that, once again, it can play a central role in boosting the UK’s energy security.

“Wylfa would not only bring clean, reliable power to millions of homes – it could create thousands of well-paid jobs and bring investment to the local area.”

The UK’s nuclear expansion, the largest in 70 years, seeks to identify suitable sites to increase nuclear capacity by 24GW by 2050.

The expansion will include a combination of traditional large-scale plants and small modular reactors.

Great British Nuclear is set to announce the winners of the small modular reactor competition by the end of 2024.

Great British Nuclear CEO Gwen Parry-Jones stated: “Having agreed to purchase the Wylfa site earlier this year, GBN looks forward to working with the government on the market engagement programme for large-scale gigawatt providers and also delivering this vital project in the years to come.”

In May 2024, the government agreed to invest £196m to establish Europe’s first facility for producing high-assay low-enriched uranium in Capenhurst, Cheshire.

The move aims to reduce reliance on the Russian-dominated uranium fuel market and support future nuclear energy projects.