Hitachi Cancels £16bn Nuclear Power Station in Wales

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The UK nuclear power station to be built in Wales is to be scrapped. Hitachi has announced the cancellation of its multi-billion pound UK nuclear project at 1Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey, North Wales.

With this, Hitachi becomes the second firm to abandon a major nuclear project in two months, thereby triggering a full-blown crisis for the UK energy’s strategy.

The £16bn Wylfa plant on Anglesey project was scrapped due to the rising cost and the failure of the UK government to reach an agreement with Hitachi over funding.

In June 2018, the Japanese firm began talks with the UK government on how to fund the project; however, the government failed to reach an agreement with Hitachi.

Before now, Hinkley, Moorside, Wylfa, Oldbury, Bradwell, and Sizewell were identified as major sites of a wave for nuclear power construction anywhere in the world.

Of the six sites, one is under construction; three have been abandoned while two face an uphill battle to get the green light.

Speaking about the project cancellation, Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Hitachi’s Horizon subsidiary, said; “I am very sorry to say that despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we’ve not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned.

“We have been unable to reach a deal in talks with London and Tokyo, and therefore we are suspending Wylfa and Oldbury while the Anglesey site remains.”

However, Business Secretary Greg Clark said the government had offered Hitachi a significant package of support that included providing a debt facility for the project, guaranteed power price of up to £75 per megawatt-hour for 35 years and taking a one-third stake.

Clark added that “The challenge of financing new nuclear is one of falling costs and greater abundance of alternative technologies so that it is being outcompeted. We are still committed to new nuclear, and we will be publishing details of a new approach to financing in the summer.”

Speaking on the importance of the nuclear industry in the UK, Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association said: “The urgent need for further new nuclear capacity in the UK should not be underestimated, with all but one of the UK’s nuclear power plant due to come offline by 2030.”

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