The road to Wylfa B

Inside Wylfa power station
Wylfa power station has been generating electricity since for more than 40 years Photo: ITV News Wales

A project that the Welsh government said would not only go a huge way to transforming Anglesey into a 'green island', but also to sustaining a strong economy by creating thousands of jobs. Wylfa B nuclear power station has been a long time in the offering, ever since the UK government confirmed in 2009 that Anglesey was firmly on its list of potential sites where a new plant would be built.

Construction of Wylfa in 1970's
Wylfa power station has been generating electricity since 1971 Credit: ITV News Wales

The current plant in Anglesey has been generating electricity for more than 40 years, since it started operating in 1971. In October 2010, more than six hundred jobs were saved when it was announced the plant would not close, as it was due to, the following December. Instead the power station was told it could continue operating for a further two years - in a hope the new station would be built in time.

And when the German utility giants RWE npower and EON announced they were going to build a huge new plant on Anglesey it seemed the transformation was fully underway. A seven billion pound project was unveiled that was set to create 5,000 construction jobs and between 800 and 1000 permanent jobs in the island.

But today, in a turn of events, it has been confirmed that RWE npower and E.ON have pulled out of their bid, meaning the search for new investors for the site will have to be resumed.

Whilst this may come as a blow to many parties in Wales, the plans to build a nuclear plant have been met with strong resistance from anti-nuclear protesters. Only a few weeks ago campaigners gathered near the Menai Bridge to protest against the development, and over the last few years, many have done the same.

Despite this rather huge setback in Wales' mission to take advantage of the wealth of resources in the country - many still remain sure that Anglesey is the right place for such a development.

Timeline of events:

  • January 2008: The UK government announce a new generation of power stations will be built across Britain.
  • September 2008: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and french power company, EDF, put land next to the current site up for sale - companies invited to bid.
  • April 2009: List published that confirms UK government are considering Wylfa as a potential site for a new nuclear power station.
  • November 2009: The UK government confirm Wylfa is among a list of ten nuclear sites that could be operating as early as 2018.
  • March 2010: German utility company RWE Npower and EON announce they will build a seven billion pound plant on Anglesey, creating 5,000 jobs.
  • October 2010: Plans to close the current nuclear power site in Wylfa in December 2010 are scrapped, as its told the plant will continue operating for at least another two years.
  • July 2011: The UK Government confirms it will push ahead with plans for a new nuclear power station on Anglesey, as well as seven other sites across Britain.
  • March 2012: Protest against plant, in line with the anniversary of Fukushima.
  • March 2012: Firms announce they are pulling out of nuclear bid for Wylfa B on Anglesey.