WELSH Secretary Alun Cairns met representatives from Hitachi at its headquarters in Tokyo earlier today to discuss the future of the Wylfa site in north Wales. It follows the announcement that Hitachi has suspended plans to build the new multi-billion pound Wylfa Newydd power station on Anglesey. The meeting forms a key part of Secretary Cairns’ visit to Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka where he’ll meet with Japanese businesses who have significant investments in Wales. During the visit, he will set out the UK Government’s commitment to supporting Japanese investment in Wales and the opportunities ahead as we prepare to leave the EU.
North Wales Chronicle 18th Feb 2019 read more »
Plans for pylons on Anglesey and an electricity tunnel across the Menai Strait have been scrapped. National Grid has confirmed it is withdrawing its plans to connect a proposed new nuclear power station in Anglesey to the electricity network. It follows the decision by Horizon to suspend work on Wylfa Newydd. The grid said it would look closely at any other proposals that come forward to revive the plans at Wylfa. National Grid had planned for a new line of pylons and a tunnel at the Menai Strait, and had applied to the Planning Inspectorate for the plans to be reviewed.
BBC 20th Feb 2019 read more »
The UK government’s nuclear energy policy is in disarray after the Japanese company Hitachi stopped work on a proposed plant in Wylfa last month. The move comes just months after fellow Japanese firm Toshiba shelved plans to build a nuclear power station in Cumbria. Simon Taylor, an economist with the Energy Policy Research Group in Cambridge, UK, says it is unclear why the Wylfa project has ultimately stalled. ‘I can only assume that they wanted the government to take more of the risk – particularly the construction risk,’ he says. The recent troubles at Toshiba may also have encouraged Hitachi to limit the risk it was exposed to, according to Taylor. Last year Toshiba announced it would end all new global nuclear projects, including a planned site at Moorside in Cumbria. The company had invested £400 million in Moorside before pulling out in response to its US nuclear division filing for bankruptcy. Such failures highlight one issue with a new nuclear project, explains Taylor: ‘[It] is extremely expensive and it involves a lot of risk.’ The RAB model raises an important issue for the energy industry. ‘Why not use that vehicle to make all sorts of other technologies cheaper?’ asks Jim Watson, director of the UK Energy Research Centre. ‘The question … is why are you giving special treatment to one technology?’ Watson cites carbon capture and storage or the proposed tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea, UK, as capital-intensive technologies that could have benefited from RAB. Watson goes on to state that the government needs to be clear on what its strategic case is for nuclear: ‘In the end, you may be asking consumers to pay more for this technology versus others.’
Chemistry World 20th Feb 2019 read more »
The Welsh Government wants to fast track capital schemes in north west Wales in a bid to mitigate the impact on the economy of the halting of the Wylfa Newydd project. Hitachi last month announced it was putting the £14bn nuclear plant project on hold after failing to reach a mutually acceptable funding agreement with the UK Government. This has dealt an economic blow to the island and has been followed by further bad news at plastics firm Rehau in Amlwch, with 100 staff at risk, NR Evans (30 workers) and Vauxhall Slaters in Llangefni.
Daily Post 20th Feb 2019 read more »