Hitachi suspends work on nuclear plant in Wales due to financing problems

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Hitachi on Thursday froze construction of a nuclear power station in Wales due to financing difficulties, dealing a major blow to Britain " s energy strategy and leaving the Japanese firm with a huge bill.

Horizon had planned to build in total at least 5.8 GW of new capacity at the Wylfa site and in south Gloucestershire, and Toshibas NuGen was expected to add around 3.8 GW with three reactors.

The company said despite discussions with the British and Japanese governments it had not been able to reach agreement to the satisfaction of all parties.

"As a result we will be suspending the development of the Wylfa Newydd project until a solution can be found".

Horizon Nuclear Power said it would take steps to reduce its presence but was keeping the option open to resume development in the future.

The regulated asset base model may now be one of the few remaining options to fund new nuclear plants in Europe.

"We will also engage closely with the many worldwide and UK-based stakeholders who have strongly supported the project's development, especially our lead host community of Anglesey in Wales, represented by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Welsh Government, and the key representatives around Oldbury".

Hitachi said the decision to suspend operations will cost it around 330bn yen (£21.4bn).

A BEIS spokesperson said: "As the Business Secretary set out in June, any deal needs to represent value for money and be the right one for United Kingdom consumers and taxpayers".

Gobierno coloca dos mil millones de dólares en bonos
Aunque no emitió detalles sobre los objetivos o fines para los que se utilizarán los recursos obtenidos de la transacción.

"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".

That announcement followed Toshiba's decision in November to scrap its NuGen project in Britain after its US reactor unit Westinghouse went bankrupt and it failed to find a buyer for the plan. "As to Japan's future in nuclear, I think it is the end as a reactor vendor, certainly outside Japan".

China's General Nuclear Services, an industrial partnership between China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) and French utility EDF, plans to make a number of investments in Britains nuclear power sector, most notably the Hinkley Point C project in southwest England. It will also mean 850 permanent jobs at the site - and 9,000 temporary construction jobs - will not materialise.

"The UK policy identifying the need for nuclear to play a role alongside renewables has been supported by numerous independent studies".

Justin Bowden, national officer of the GMB union, said: "The Government must act and step in now, pick up the reins and take whatever funding stake and leadership is necessary, to ensure Wylfa goes ahead on time".

Scrapping the United Kingdom plans is the latest move by the Tokyo-based manufacturer to shift away from the nuclear power industry, as it seeks to expand in higher growth sectors like power transmission and distribution.

Unite union national officer Peter McIntosh said: "The decision is a disaster for the United Kingdom economy and future energy needs of the country".

"It is important that low carbon, secure sources of generation, such as nuclear, can get the necessary investment to enable them to help meet the energy needs of consumers and our country over the coming decades".

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