Hitachi is poised to abandon its plans to build a new power station at Wylfa on Anglesey, an island off the coast of north Wales, in another blow to Britain’s struggling nuclear power programme. The Japanese industrial giant is expected to take the decision formally at a board meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, according to multiple figures close to the project. Hitachi bought the Anglesey site — dubbed Horizon Nuclear — from two German utility companies for £697m in 2012. But the £20bn scheme was mothballed in January 2019 after failing to secure a financial agreement with the UK government. Hitachi said at the time that the project posed “too great a financial challenge” even with ministers proposing a taxpayer investment into the scheme. Yet Hitachi maintained a skeleton staff and continued to seek planning permission for the project. As recently as August the company’s management were still optimistic that the site could be revived. Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon, said at the time: “What I’ve been trying to do over the last period is convince people that our suspension has not in any way undermined our ability to restart quickly . . . We are ready to go.” Horizon executives believed they were making progress in recent weeks holding detailed discussions with UK officials, but appear to have been blindsided by decisions made by Hitachi in Tokyo. However a person close to Hitachi said the Japanese group’s stance had not changed since it suspended the project early last year and that Tokyo had not backed recent moves for a revival. One figure close to the project said on Tuesday that Hitachi was “totally quitting” in a sudden reversal. “All hell is breaking loose. So much for their 100-year commitment,” the person said. “This is deeply dishonourable.” Another figure close to Hitachi confirmed that the company was set to announce that it was abandoning the site.
FT 15th Sept 2020 read more »
A Japanese company is abandoning plans to build a new nuclear power station on Anglesey, off the coast of north Wales, dashing hopes for thousands of jobs involved in its construction and knocking the UK’s ambition to become a “net zero carbon” emission country by 2050 off course. Cameron Gilmour, spokesman for the Sizewell C Consortium said: “This news will have serious ramifications for companies both in Wales and across the UK. The Wylfa nuclear project would have been another important milestone for the UK’s nuclear supply chain and would have created thousands of jobs. Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said: “Nuclear power’s ever-rising costs overtook the ever-falling costs of renewables years ago, and a new reactor now supplies electricity at more than double the price of a new offshore windfarm. “Propping up this dying industry has become more and more difficult and expensive for the handful of governments still hoping for a nuclear renaissance. We’re hoping the UK government will take Hitachi‘s decision to abandon Wylfa as final confirmation of what the energy market has long been trying to tell them – Britain’s future is renewable.”
Guardian 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Plans for a £20bn nuclear power station at Wylfa in Wales are likely to be scrapped with Hitachi, the Japanese giant bankrolling the programme, set to pull out. At the start of the year Hitachi put the programme on ice because of worries about spiralling costs and the company failing to strike a deal over its funding with the UK Government. The Isle of Anglesey Council, which covers the area where the two-reactor plant was due to be built, is understood to have received written confirmation from the Japanese company that it is withdrawing from the project. Reports suggest that a Hitachi board meeting on Wednesday will confirm the decision.
Telegraph 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Britain’s nuclear sector is facing a fresh setback as the Japanese developer behind a proposed plant on Anglesey prepares to abandon the project. Hitachi had been developing the Horizon venture to build the Wylfa nuclear plant since 2012, but it suspended the project last year after failing to find a viable way to fund the estimated £15 billion to £20 billion cost. Although it laid off more than 300 employees, it retained a skeleton staff and was continuing to seek planning consent. However, Hitachi is expected to confirm after a board meeting today that it is abandoning the project. Llinos Medi, leader of Anglesey council, said that she had “been informed that Hitachi intends to withdraw from the Wylfa Newydd project”, adding that it would be “a devastating blow to the Anglesey economy”.
Times 16th Sept 2020 read more »
Isle of Anglesey council said the company had now confirmed in writing it is withdrawing from the project. Anglesey council said it had received a letter from the Tokyo-based parent company confirming its decision. Developer Horizon Nuclear, which is owned by Hitachi, said it would not comment. The People Against Wylfa B action group said: “It would have ruined the environment over an area which is 10 times greater than the current site.” It called on Hitachi to “ensure that no nuclear scheme will happen on the site in the future” and return the site to its “former state, for community benefit”. “Proposals to develop green energy schemes would be an area where Hitachi’s expertise could create many jobs here,” the group added.
BBC 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Hitachi tells Anglesey council it intends to withdraw from nuclear plant development.
Daily Post 15th Sept 2020 read more »
North Wales Pioneer 15th Sept 2020 read more »
North Wales Chronicle 15th Sept 2020 read more »
The Wylfa Newydd nuclear project on Anglesey is set to be dropped by Hitachi – according to news reports in Japan. Hitachi suspended the project in January 2019 after failing to reach a funding agreement with UK Government. They did though continue the planning process – and a decision on the proposed £12bn plant on Anglesey was due this month. But this morning Japanese media site Mainichi is reporting that Hitachi is preparing to ditch the scheme altogether. They report that this decision is expected to be confirmed at a meeting on Wednesday. UK nuclear sources said reports of this nature in Japanese publications like Mainichi were generally accurate. In response a spokesman for Hitachi told Bloomberg that the company is exploring multiple options and nothing has been decided yet.
Daily Post 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Plans for a new multi-billion pound nuclear power plant in North Wales have reportedly been scrapped.
Metro 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Hitachi axes plans for North Wales nuclear power plant after struggling to secure government funding.
This is Money 16th Sept 2020 read more »
City AM 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Hitachi’s likely decision to give up on Wylfa B emphasises the huge financial problems in funding UK new nuclear.
NFLA 15th Sept 2020 read more »
GMB, the energy union, has described the collapse of the proposed Wylfa nuclear power station in Anglesey as ‘utterly predictable’. Reports from Japan suggest Hitachi – who were financing the build – have pulled out of the project. The union says that the UK needs at least six new Nuclear Power Station’s to meet the UK’s future energy demands and green targets. “This utterly predictable announcement from Hitachi is outcome of successive government failures to act decisively around new nuclear, and in particular how it is financed. New nuclear is vital in achieving decarbonisation – especially when teamed up with hydrogen.”
GMB 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Local council leaders voiced concerns Tuesday following reports that Hitachi is to withdraw from a ¥3 trillion nuclear power project off northwest Wales. Japanese media said the group’s Horizon Nuclear subsidiary had decided to walk away from the Wylfa Newydd project and would rubber-stamp the decision Wednesday. Hitachi had put the plans to build two reactors at the site on Anglesey on hold because of financing concerns but insisted it was still committed to the project last month. Costs for the project, involving Hitachi subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd., increased 1½ times from the original estimate to ¥3 trillion due to ballooning safety-related costs. Negotiations with the British government have made little progress in current circumstances, with one source close to Hitachi attributing the stalemate in part to the coronavirus pandemic and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
Japan Times 16th Sept 2020 read more »
Hitachi Ltd. is set to completely withdraw its plan to build a new nuclear power plant in Britain, sources close to the matter revealed on Sept. 14.
Mainichi 15th Sept 2020 read more »
Asahi Shimbun 16th Sept 2020 read more »
Nikkei Asian Review 15th Sept 2020 read more »
The Trades Union Congress has backed a motion pledging support for new nuclear power stations in the UK, as Hitachi appears to have withdrawn from its project to build a new plant on Anglesey.
Utility Week 16th Sept 2020 read more »