Horizon suspends nuclear development programme in UK

WCN Editorial Team 18 Jan 2019 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

Horizon Nuclear Power will suspend its UK nuclear development programme following a decision taken by its Japanese parent company, Hitachi, not to continue with the current programme of activities.

The company is developing the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales and has a second site at Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.

The Wylfa Newydd site is located beside the former Magnox Wylfa Power Station, which is being decommissioned.

Hitachi-GE’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) proposed for the nuclear plant are tried and tested and have already been built to time and budget in Japan four times over.

The company said that it has informed the UK government of the decision.

Horizon Nuclear Power, established in 2009 as a joint venture between E.ON and RWE npower to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK, was acquired by Hitachi in November 2012.

The company has been created to help meet the need for new, secure low-carbon power by providing at least 5.8GW of capacity to the UK – enough to power around 11 million homes.

Plans included a power station, including two nuclear reactors with a minimum generating capacity of 2,900MW.

The company had planned to secure first electricity generation at Wylfa Newydd in the mid-2020s.

Horizon Nuclear Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne 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.

“We have been in close discussions with the UK Government, in cooperation 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.”


Image: CGI of Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant. Photo: Courtesy of Horizon Nuclear Power.

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