The UK Government is working up plans to base the UK’s first Thermal Hydraulic Test Facility (THTF) on Anglesey following a meeting with Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie and other stakeholders.
Thermal hydraulics involves the study of the transfer of energy and is applicable across a wide range of sectors which could help solve some of today’s pressing scientific challenges including using nuclear science to reach net zero.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has visited the island to look at options for the facility that would help develop the next generation of nuclear power stations and have applications across other sectors.
If it comes to Anglesey, it would be only one of three in the world. The others are in the US and Italy.
Officials met with Virginia, the council, M-SParc and the National Nuclear Laboratory to discuss the proposed £40 million THTF site which would house test scale models to support the design of safe and efficient advanced nuclear power systems whilst not itself handling radioactive materials.
Any move to house the facility on Anglesey would unlock opportunities for bringing new business to Anglesey and North Wales, Virginia said.
The development was first earmarked for North Wales in the UK Government’s 2018 Nuclear Sector Deal. It aims to boost the UK’s nuclear new build programme and development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs).
“Bringing the THTF to Anglesey would firmly cement our position as the Energy Island and bring a host of new careers and investment here,” said Virginia.
“Between twenty and thirty high skilled jobs will be created in addition to significant income for the island and scope for attracting other complementary activities and businesses.
“It would also attract visiting engineers and scientists which would benefit our hospitality sector.
“Whether the facility is built at M-SParc or elsewhere on Anglesey matters not as it would act as a magnet for related businesses and give our island world-class status.
“These are exciting opportunities in an advanced sector that could provide islanders with top-quality careers for many years to come.
“To genuinely make a difference to the economy of Anglesey and give young people better choices for their futures we must welcome projects like the THTF and I will do all I can to ensure it happens.”