Wylfa B or not to be. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper in Japan reported on August 17 that a very important partner is withdrawing from the Wylfa Newydd building partnership with Hitachi and the JGC company from Japan. Only two years since being chosen as a construction partner, it appears that Bechtel has come to the conclusion that it would not make financial sense for them to take part in such a huge and extortionately expensive project. There is an apparent difference of opinion between Hitachi and Bechtel about the cost of construction with Bechtel’s estimates being higher. If a company as large as Bechtel is getting cold feet, it will be difficult for Hitachi to engage another company to take their place. One idea mentioned was that Horizon could replace Bechtel to manage the construction. The risk linked to that would be huge since Horizon is only a local subsidiary company to Hitachi without any experience of building anything let alone two monster nuclear reactors. Hitachi also have no experience of building nuclear reactors. Their track record is offering their boiling water reactors for other companies to build. If, as reported Bechtel will stay as a consultant to the project, that is very different to being an active building partner. The Westminster Government and the Welsh Labour Government should wake up to what is very obvious to other countries worldwide that nuclear power is a technology that belongs to the middle of the twentieth century. It is dirty, dangerous and a threat to environmental and human health. There is an international trend now that sees the price of renewable energy technologies coming down. Using these various technologies and a comprehensive energy conservation programme in our homes, public buildings and workplaces is the sensible and progressive way ahead. This would create work immediately – unlike Wylfa B – without the enormous risks, both financial and healthwise.
PAWB 20th Aug 2018 read more »