11.01.2019_No8 / News in Brief

Hitachi To Cancel Plans For Wylfa Nuclear Station In UK, Reports Say

Plans & Construction

11 Jan (NucNet): Japan’s Hitachi looks certain to cancel its plans for a two-unit nuclear power station in Wales, unconfirmed press reports in the UK and Japan said today.

An impasse in months-long talks between the company, London and Toyko on financing is expected to result in the project being abandoned at a Hitachi board meeting next week, according to the Nikkei newspaper.

Hitachi and its subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power have been proposing to build two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at the Wylfa Newydd site on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. In June, the UK government confirmed it was considering direct investment in the project.

The Nikkei newspaper said Hitachi has spent nearly £2bn on the planned station, which would have powered around five million homes.

In October 2018 three days of hearings were held as part of a six-month formal examination of plans to build the new reactors.

Another Japanese company, Toshiba, scrapped plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors in Cumbria, northwest England, just months ago after failing to find a buyer for the project.

Hitachi and the UK and Japanese governments have been negotiating over a guaranteed price of power from Wylfa and a potentially £5bn-plus UK public stake in the scheme.

Talks have proved “tricky to find a solution that works for all parties”, industry sources said, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Unions said the prospect of Wylfa being cancelled was extremely worrying and losing two projects in such a short period “should set alarm bells ringing” about the government’s commitment to nuclear.

Hitachi said it had made no final decision. “No formal decision has been made in this regard currently, while Hitachi has been assessing the Horizon project including its potential suspension and related financial impacts in terms of economic rationality as a private company,” it said.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Hitachi Has ‘Not Given Up’ On Wylfa Nuclear Project, Reports Say (News in Brief No.250, 18 December 2018)

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NucNet

Editor:

David Dalton

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