The UK government is expected to offer financial support for Hitachi’s Wylfa nuclear power plant in Anglesey, Wales, before the Japanese firm’s board meets next week to discuss the project’s future. Despite a string of recent media reports over a deal having been agreed between UK prime minister Theresa May and the head of Hitachi, Hiroaki Nakanishi, earlier this month, Unearthed understands that the UK is still considering its position. The Treasury are thought to be reluctant to put public money into a nuclear sector infamous for cost overruns and construction delays – but are also aware of the deal’s significance for the UK’s energy security and of broader UK-Japan trade relations. Hitachi are now expecting a firm offer from the UK government before its board meets on 28 May, and is understood to be willing to walk away from the project if its hopes for costs to be shared are not met. In the wake numerous Japanese reports on what the final deal will look like, the newspaper Asahi said on Sunday that the wrangling over financing has delayed the expected operating date from 2025 to 2027. Initial announcements by Horizon, the Hitachi-owned company that will construct the nuclear plant, said that the first reactor would come online by 2020. The Asahi report also quoted a source close to the construction phase of the project as saying that Hitachi’s cost estimates, which are now thought to have soared to over ¥3 trillion (£20bn), have been optimistic. Speculation has circulated since January that the UK and Japanese governments have been in discussions over a joint financing arrangement to spread liability for the project, where both would be expected to take a significant equity stake. The Japanese government and Hitachi’s case for direct UK state involvement are thought to be strengthened by Nakanishi’s incoming chairmanship of Keidanren, the leading Japanese business lobby, at the end of this month. Nakanishi’s joint leadership of Hitachi and Keidanren will add symbolic weight to the UK’s offer on Wylfa in a time when anxieties over the UK’s global trading position are high. Horizon refused to comment while discussions with the UK government are ongoing.
Unearthed 22nd May 2018 read more »
PROTESTERS who are against plans for a nuclear plant on Anglesey are visiting Japan for a week of campaigning. Robat Idris, Linda Rogers and Meilyr Tomos, members of PAWB – People Against Wylfa B – have been invited by Friends of the Earth Japan. PAWB announced its partnership with Friends of the Earth Japan last year. They have joined forces to oppose Hitachi’s plans to build two nuclear reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey. Ayumi Fukakusa, from Friends of the Earth Japan, visited Anglesey and Gwynedd in November. During her visit, she had discussed campaigning in Japan against the plans to export Hitachi and Toshiba nuclear technology to Wales and England. The PAWB trio, who leave on Wednesday, May 23, will spend two days at the Fukushima Prefecture public seminar. They will also visit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site, and meet the women of Fukushima, political campaigners, the press and public. They will also spend a day in meetings with Japanese government ministers and will take part in seminars in Tokyo and Osaka. They will also meet with the state owned Japan Bank for International Co-operation. The group are also set to meet the ex-Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan and his Constitutional Democratic Party, and the bipartisan Nuclear Zero Committee.
North Wales Chronicle 22nd May 2018 read more »