Hitachi suspends work on 5.8 GW nuclear power project in Wales

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Hitachi suspends work on 5.8 GW nuclear power project in Wales

Horizon Nuclear Power has announced that it will suspend its UK nuclear development programme, following a decision taken by its parent company Hitachi, Ltd.

Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi in November 2012. The company planned to build at least 5,800 MW of new nuclear power generation plants at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.

Since 2012, the company has progressed all aspects of the project’s development, including the reactor design and the supply chain. In July, a development consent order for the Wylfa Newydd power plant was submitted to the UK government's Planning Inspectorate.

However, today's announcement indicates that the company could not secure sufficient financing. Despite "close discussions" with the governments of the UK and Japan ongoing for multiple years, Horizon Nuclear Power has been unable to agree financing "to the satisfaction of all concerned."

The Wylfa Newydd project alone was projected to cost up to GBP20 billion (US$25.7 billion).

Despite this, Horizon Nuclear Power has assured its commitment to the programme, claiming that the Wylfa Newydd site on Anglesey remains the best site for nuclear development in the UK. It intends to keep channels of communication open with the UK government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both project sites.

The company has informed the UK government of the decision. Despite expectation that this will trigger a change in national energy policy, the government has affirmed its continued commitment to nuclear power, stating that it is examining alternative funding models for future projects.

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