Start of End for Wylfa N-Plant

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Byline: By RHODRI CLARK Western Mail

The long process of winding down and decommissioning Wales' only operational nuclear power station - a process that will last more than a century - has effectively just begun. The Welsh Assembly Government and council leaders on Anglesey want the productive life of Wylfa power station to be extended beyond its planned end in 2010.

But the Western Mail can reveal the only furnaces supplying Magnox fuel rods for Wylfa have already been switched off.

The last rods now being manufactured at the plant, in Preston, Lancashire, should keep Wylfa going through 2010 but not beyond.

Council leaders warn Wylfa's closure could result in more than 1,500 job losses on Anglesey - already one of Wales' poorest counties. They fear the loss of cheap local electricity would force closure of the Anglesey Aluminium factory near Holyhead.

Next month councillors will vote on a motion calling for Wylfa's life to be extended beyond 2010 and for a new power station to be built. The motion avoids specifying whether that new facility should be nuclear.

Local anti-nuclear campaign group Pawb claimed councillors who favoured a gas power station but not a new Wylfa plant might vote for the motion, but their support could later be misrepresented as support for a new nuclear plant. …