Hitachi ends UK new build plans

By 16 September 2020 Industry news

Hitachi has confirmed it is ending development of new nuclear plant at Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury.

Hitachi suspended the Wylfa Newydd project in January 2019 for financial reasons, but maintained the capability to remobilise if a new financing model was re-established.

Horizon Nuclear Power, Hitachi’s UK new build subsidiary, will now close down all its current development activities, but will keep the lines of communication open with government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both our sites.

Andrew Storer, CEO of the Nuclear AMRC, commented: “Hitachi’s decision is disappointing, but we need to look forward to the next steps for Wylfa, which remains a government-designated development site for nuclear new build. It is a fantastic site with an experienced nuclear workforce and regional supply chain, with a huge amount of support for development.

“Nuclear needs to be part of the low-carbon energy mix to meet our net-zero commitment, ideally with a mix of gigawatt-scale reactors such as Hitachi’s ABWR and new designs of small and advanced modular reactors. The UK SMR consortium, which includes the Nuclear AMRC, is proposing up to 16 power stations at existing nuclear sites around the UK. Other new SMR and AMR designs can also play a hugely important role in decarbonising our economy, including new opportunities in industrial cogeneration, municipal district heating and hydrogen production.

“Wylfa remains a very attractive site for a new nuclear plant which will create regional growth and jobs, and help meet our national commitments. But for that to happen, developers and utilities need to see a policy and financial framework that will let them invest with confidence.”