The government is about to invest taxpayers’ money in a multibillion-pound project to build a nuclear power station in north Wales. Ministers are preparing to announce a deal with Hitachi, a Japanese developer, next week to help to fund the construction of the Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey, which could cost more than £15 billion. Unlike the £20 billion Hinkley Point nuclear plant, which was funded through private money, it is understood that Wylfa will have direct investment from British taxpayers. The deal will reduce the amount consumers have to pay on their energy bills when Wylfa is up and running. However, it could expose the government to a greater risk from cost overruns as it will own a direct stake. The proposed twin-reactor power plant at Wylfa could generate about 2.9 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power about five million homes. It is expected to start generating in the mid-2020s. Sources confirmed that an outline deal over the funding structure was scheduled to be announced next week when parliament returns from recess, triggering formal negotiations over the contract details. The scale of the government’s investment is not known but it is expected that Britain, Hitachi and the Japanese government will all invest equity and the British government will also offer guarantees to underwrite billions of pounds of loans for the plant. Hitachi has declined to comment on Japanese media reports that the cost of the plant could be up to £21 billion but one source dismissed the claims as fantasy. Reports also claimed this week that Hitachi wanted to reduce its liability for any accidents at the plant. Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, said that the deal looked like a complete rip-off for everyone in Britain. He added: “Taxpayers and bill payers will be shelling out for a nuclear tax if this power station is built because it’s so much more expensive than renewable energy, which is faster to build, cheaper and cleaner.”
Times 31st May 2018 read more »
Wylfa B – why should the taxpayer cover the bill and all its safety issues? The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) notes media reports in the UK and Japan which suggest the UK Government is inching towards an agreement with Hitachi and the Japanese Government over the funding for a proposed new nuclear reactor at Wylfa in Anglesey. This could leave the UK taxpayer providing funds and guarantees to help cover a substantial amount of the £21 billion cost of the project. NFLA is particularly concerned that Hitachi may be placing the costs of additional safety measures on to the Government.
NFLA 30th May 2018 read more »
With established nuclear markets said to be struggling, other UK projects are in the works, including schemes in Suffolk and Essex, while South Korean firm Kepco is taking forward plans at Moorside in Cumbria. Horizon undertook its third formal consultation stage for Wylfa last year, with features stressed including streamlining of the project’s impact. It included shared facilities for the twin reactors, while construction workers requiring accommodation will be housed in a single temporary campus at the build site. The total number of construction workers was outlined at a thousand fewer in number than once anticipated, reaching a peak of 9,000 “for a few months” in late 2023. Horizon said that the number of off-site facilities would be combined, adding funding will be provided to support affordable housing around the power station in Amlwch, along with support for skills, STEM programmes in local schools and tourism programmes. Elements from the stage two consultation that remained in place are improvements to the A5025, a park-and-ride facility at Dalar Hill, and a logistics facility at Parc Cybi on the edge of Holyhead. In January, a further consultation was held regarding additional land required for the new sections of the A5025.
North West Place 29th May 2018 read more »