The Japanese conglomerate Hitachi looks certain to cancel its plans for a £16bn nuclear power station in Wales, leaving Britain’s ambitions for a nuclear renaissance in tatters. An impasse in months-long talks between the company, London and Toyko on financing is expected to result in the flagship project being axed at a Hitachi board meeting next week, according to the Nikkei newspaper. The company has spent nearly £2bn on the planned Wylfa power station on Anglesey, which would have powered around 5m homes. Horizon Nuclear Power, the UK subsidiary behind the scheme, said it “won’t be commenting on rumours or speculation”. However, an insider said: “There has been a serious rift in Hitachi, and the group that said this is too large and risky an investment of Japanese capital have won out. They pointed to the uncertainty created by Brexit to say this was another reason to pull the plug.” Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said the prospect of Wylfa being cancelled was very worrying for the economy and jobs in north Wales and could have “a significant negative impact on the UK’s energy security, particularly after the collapse of the Moorside power station plans in 2018.” Nuclear critics said a collapse of the scheme was not a disaster but an opportunity for a policy shift. Doug Parr, the chief scientist of Greenpeace UK, said: “We could have locked ourselves into reliance on an obsolete, unaffordable technology, but we’ve been given the chance to think again and make a better decision.” Sara Medi Jones, the acting secretary general of CND, said: “With offshore wind now cheaper than nuclear it’s clear there is a clean and workable alternative. We just need the political will to make it happen.”
Guardian 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Hitachi is on the verge of abandoning its plan to build a nuclear power station at Wylfa in Wales in a move that would leave the UK’s energy strategy in jeopardy. According to people familiar with financing discussions for the Wylfa plant, a lack of firm investor commitments means Hitachi can no longer keep putting money into the so-called Horizon project and will announce it is to pull the plug at a board meeting next week. The suspension of construction at Wylfa, which follows Toshiba’s abandonment of a nuclear project in Cumbria late last year, will cause job losses in Wales and leave the UK with nowhere to turn but China if it wants to keep building nuclear power stations. The loss of several planned nuclear plants leaves a gaping hole in Britain’s plans for a new fleet of nuclear reactors to keep the lights on in the coming decades as old reactors and coal plants are closed down. Hitachi’s intention to suspend work was first reported by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. The company said it “has been assessing the Horizon project including its potential suspension” but that “no formal decision has been made”. Hitachi has been spending hundreds of millions of pounds a year to prepare the site on the Welsh island of Anglesey and win a UK licence for its advanced boiling water reactor. Its UK subsidiary had accrued £847m of work in progress by March 2018, which Hitachi will have to write off.
FT 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Telegraph 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Sky News 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Work on a proposed nuclear power station in Wales is likely to be halted within days, leaving the government’s plans for a nuclear revival “in tatters”. Hitachi, the Japanese company developing the Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey, confirmed yesterday that it was considering suspending work on the estimated £15 billion plant, putting about 370 jobs at risk. A formal decision is expected to be taken next week. Justin Bowden, of the GMB union, said Hitachi’s withdrawal would mean that “this country’s nuclear energy plans will be reduced to tatters”. Peter McIntosh, of the union Unite, said: “If the project does not proceed, it will have a devastating impact on the Welsh economy and the UK’s ability to meet its climate change obligations.” A government spokesman said: “Negotiations with Hitachi are ongoing. We do not comment on speculation.”
Times 12th Jan 2019 read more »
The campaigning group People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) said in a statement: “Should the news be confirmed at a meeting of the Hitachi Board next week then it will be a relief for all of us who worry about the future of our island, our country, our language, our environment and indeed renewable energy. PAWB has warned for years that the costs associated with the Wylfa project would be likely to prove fatal to the project, but we were ignored. “Consequently, millions of taxpayers’ money from the island, Wales and the UK was invested to back Wylfa B. In addition huge political capital has been invested, and there has been a failure to have a mature public discussion about the project other than in terms of cash and jobs. “The legacy of this, if the reports from Japan prove to be true, is that over a decade has been wasted on Wylfa, with very little alternative economic planning in evidence. Our young people have been promised jobs on very shaky foundations. “Good land has been destroyed to create infrastructure to back the project. It is time for politicians and officials from the UK Government, the Welsh Government and Anglesey to admit that they were wrong. “Wales is rich in natural resources which can be used to create a vibrant and sustainable energy future, and above all else create more jobs in less time than Wylfa would have done.”
Wales Online 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Hitachi has played down reports that it is planning an imminent halt to work on the Wyfla Newydd nuclear site in North Wales. The Nikkei Asian Review claimed the Hitachi board would suspend work on the site next week and make a ¥200-300bn (£1.44bn-£2.17bn) writedown on its UK nuclear business assets. Hitachi has struggled to find Japanese investors to help finance the project alongside funding from the UK, according to the report. But Hitachi said it was still assessing the Wylfa project, including what the financial impact would be if it suspended work. It added that “no formal decision” had been made about the project’s immediate future. Suspending work on the site will reportedly save the company ¥3-4bn a month.
Construction News 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Hitachi Ltd. is moving to suspend a nuclear plant construction project in Britain as it failed to secure further financial support from the British government to help cover the swelling costs, sources said. A formal decision is expected at a board meeting as early as next week, the sources said. Hitachi was struggling to raise funds from investors and calling for the British government, which was expected to provide loan guarantees, to expand its assistance. But no substantial progress was apparently made during a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Jan. 10. Hitachi concluded that it would be difficult to proceed with the project, which is estimated to cost about 3 trillion yen ($26 billion).
Asahi Shimbun 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Mainichi 12th Jan 2019 read more »
Hitachi is reported to be on the verge of scrapping plans to build the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station in Anglesey. Anti-nuclear and environmental campaigners have welcomed the news. Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist for Greenpeace UK, said: “The government’s energy policy is in tatters, but this is the opposite of a disaster. We could have locked ourselves into reliance on an obsolete, unaffordable technology, but we’ve been given the chance to think again and make a better decision. Our urgent, immediate dilemma – how to maintain security of supply whilst cutting carbon – can be solved by making offshore wind, at half the cost of nuclear, the backbone of the new power system. The failure of the old technology is the opportunity the new technologies need, and Britain’s world-leading offshore wind industry’s time has come.” Also commenting, Sara Medi Jones, Acting General Secretary of CND, said: “The government’s nuclear energy policy is in tatters. Two major international investors have now suspended plans to build nuclear reactors here in Britain. Toshiba withdrew from the Moorside plant just a few weeks ago, and now Hitachi appears to have reached the same conclusion, that new nuclear isn’t economically viable.
Ekklesia 12th Jan 2019 read more »
Wylfa: Theresa May ‘focusing on Brexit not nuclear plant’. Reports emerged on Friday that Hitachi’s board would be likely to decide to suspend all work on its Wylfa Newydd plant next week. Unions and politicians criticised Theresa May for not discussing the issue with her Japanese counterpart. The UK government said negotiations with Hitachi were ongoing. Speculation has been mounting that the Japanese company will scrap the £20bn Horizon nuclear power plant project due to potential increases in construction costs. Anglesey MP Albert Owen said he wanted to know from ministers “what is going wrong here and why these questions and fears are being heard as regards the future of the site?” He added: “The government has been concentrating too much on Brexit.”
BBC 12th Jan 2019 read more »
There are growing fears about the future of a planned nuclear power station in North Wales, after reports that negotiations between the Japanese company Hitachi and the British government have run into trouble.
Channel 4 News 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Rebecca Long Bailey: Nuclear power station cancellation reports are worrying.
Labour Party 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Wylfa Newydd set to join Moorside as another new nuclear power station’s future teeters on the brink.
In Cumbria 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Britain’s nuclear power plans have been thrown into jeopardy as another project teeters on collapse. Japanese firm Hitachi is set to ditch its £16billion power station in Wales – leaving Britain’s nuclear strategy at the mercy of Chinese investors. The looming collapse of Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey comes after rival Japanese group Toshiba abandoned plans to build a reactor in Cumbria.
Daily Mail 12th Jan 2019 read more »