Hitachi to suspend construction at nuclear plant

Posted on 31 Jan 2019 and read 1575 times
Hitachi to suspend construction at nuclear plantGloucester-based Horizon Nuclear Power announced earlier this month that it will suspend its UK nuclear development programme, following a decision taken by its parent company Hitachi Ltd.

Horizon is developing the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey in North Wales (it also has a second site at Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire).

The company informed the UK Government of its decision — taken at the Hitachi board meeting on 17 January — not to continue with the current programme of activities.

Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power, said: “We have made very strong progress on all aspects of the project’s development, including the UK design of our tried and tested reactor, supply-chain development and especially the building of a very capable organisation of talented and committed people (www.horizonnuclearpower.com).

"We have been in close discussions with the UK Government, in co-operation with the government of Japan, on the financing and associated commercial arrangements for our project for some years now.

"I am very sorry to say that, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we’ve not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned.

"As a result, we will be suspending the development of the Wylfa Newydd project, as well as work related to Oldbury, until a solution can be found.

"In the meantime, we will take steps to reduce our presence but keep the option to resume development in future.”

Addressing the effects of this decision, Mr Hawthorne said: “Clearly, this will have a significant impact for all involved with our project. We will look to minimise this impact as much as possible, as we move into this next phase, and we will begin consultation on the implications immediately with our staff, who have shown extraordinary talent, resilience and determination to take this complex and exciting project to this stage.

"We will also engage closely with the many international and UK-based stakeholders who have strongly supported the project’s development, especially our lead host community of Anglesey in Wales and the key representatives around Oldbury.”

Mr Hawthorne said that nuclear power remains critical to delivering the secure, low-carbon and affordable energy that the UK needs.

“As shown by our completion of the Generic Design Assessment for the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, I am confident that the technology can play an important role in tackling our energy needs and meeting our climate-change targets.

"Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey remains the best site for nuclear development in the UK, and we remain committed to keeping channels of communication open with the Government and our other key stakeholders regarding future options at both our sites.”

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