Hitachi ditches plan for £15,000,000,000 UK nuclear power plant

Developers have confirmed that plans for a multi-billion nuclear power plant in North Wales have been scrapped, leaving ‘serious ramifications’ for firms across the UK.

Horizon Nuclear Power has said it will be ceasing its activities to develop
projects at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and in Oldbury on Severn, Gloucestershire.

It comes after a decision by Hitachi to pull out of the scheme. The Japanese multinational suspended development after failing to reach a funding agreement with the UK Government, but the planning process continued.

Thousands of jobs were expected to be created by the building of the North Wales power station before the announcement.

Hitatchi’s decision had been expected yesterday, with GMB union national officer Justin Bowden saying: ‘This utterly predictable announcement from Hitachi is the outcome of successive government failures to act decisively around new nuclear, and in particular how it is financed.

‘New nuclear is vital in achieving decarbonisation, especially when teamed up with hydrogen.

‘It’s no coincidence that around the world – almost without exception – it’s governments who finance these projects, as they are the lender of last resort when it comes to keeping the lights on.

‘The fanciful experiment of trying to get foreign companies or governments to fund our future energy needs leaves most ordinary citizens in this country bewildered.’

A group of 100 organisations, including unions and businesses, backing plans to build a nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk, voiced concern about the Wylfa decision.

Sizewell C Consortium spokesman Cameron Gilmour,aid: ‘This news will have serious ramifications for companies both in Wales and across the UK.

‘The Wylfa nuclear project would have been another important milestone for the UK’s nuclear supply chain and would have created thousands of jobs.

‘Unless Sizewell C, a replica of the under-construction Hinkley Point C, is given the go-ahead, there is now a serious risk to the future of the UK’s civil nuclear construction capability and the tens of thousands of jobs that go with it.’

Chief scientist for Greenpeace UK Dr Doug Parr said: ‘Nuclear power’s ever-rising costs overtook the ever-falling costs of renewables years ago, and a new reactor now supplies electricity at more than double the price of a new offshore wind farm.

‘Propping up this dying industry has become more and more difficult and expensive for the handful of governments still hoping for a nuclear renaissance.

‘We’re hoping the UK Government will take Hitachi’s decision to abandon Wylfa as final confirmation of what the energy market has long been trying to tell them – Britain’s future is renewable.’

More to follow.

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