Anglesey could be home to first UK thermal hydraulic test facility

The UK Government is planning to base Britain’s first thermal hydraulic test facility (THTF) in Anglesey following a meeting with Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie and other stakeholders.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) visited the island to look at options for the facility which 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, with the other two found in the United States and Italy.

Officials met with the MP, the council, Menai Science Park (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 while not itself handling radioactive materials.

“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 the MP.

“Between 20 and 30 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.”

The development was first earmarked for North Wales in the UK Government’s 2018 Nuclear Sector Deal. It aims to boost Britain’s nuclear new build programme and development of small modular and advanced modular reactors.

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.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey