The Welsh Nuclear Free Local Authorities Forum welcomes Great British Nuclear’s decision to temporarily postpone plans for new nuclear at Trawsfynydd and hope it might become permanent.

Responding to the UK Government consultation on the siting of new nuclear plants after 2025, the Welsh NFLAs said Trawsfynydd was inappropriate for redevelopment.

Ministers previously agreed any Geological Disposal Facility will not be in the Lake District National Park, and NFLAs have called for this principal to be applied on new nuclear plants in National Parks, World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Great British Nuclear announced Trawsfynydd “may not be able to deploy quite as quickly as some other sites”, with reports the site was too small and lacked sufficient cooling water to support the deployment of so-called Small Modular Reactors for the foreseeable future.

A NFLA spokesperson said: “Trawsfynydd had an operating Magnox nuclear reactor on site until 1991. It was unique in being inland and cooled by the water of an artificial lake, but it is also a brutalist eyesore standing out stark and ugly against the idyllic backdrop of mountains and forest.

“The plant is now being dismantled by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a British taxpayer-funded body responsible for decommissioning redundant nuclear plants and for managing Britain’s radioactive waste inventory.

“To the NFLAs, locating a new nuclear power plant in any National Park would be entirely incompatible with the Sandford Principal.”

From 1971-1974, Lord Sandford chaired a committee examining the future management of National Parks in England and Wales. It stated: “National Park Authorities can do much to reconcile public enjoyment with the preservation of natural beauty by good planning and management and the main emphasis must continue to be on this approach wherever possible. But even so, there will be situations where the two purposes are irreconcilable... Where this happens, priority must be given to the conservation of natural beauty.”

The NFLA want Trawsfynydd decommissioned and the site cleared and landscaped.

“In our view, any proposed new medical isotope facility would be better located at Bangor University, which has an established academic nuclear faculty and has much better transport links,” the spokesperson added.

“The activities of the Welsh taxpayer-funded Cwmni Egino, established to pursue new nuclear at the site, are entirely at variance with the stated ambition of the Welsh Government to source the nation’s domestically consumed electricity from truly ‘green’ sources.”