Horizon Nuclear Power parent Hitachi Ltd. of Japan and the British government both reaffirmed their commitments to nuclear power Thursday, on the heels of Hitachi’s announcement that the company was pulling away from two large U.K. projects due to failed financial negotiations.
Hitachi said it would accept a loss of approximately $2.77 billion that went into development of Horizon’s two projects, including new reactors slated for Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury-On-Severn, projects intended for Anglesey in North Wales and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire. Both sites were expected to be the future home of new Advanced Boiling Water Reactors, which were approved by Britain’s nuclear power regulator in December 2017.
Hitachi announced that “it has decided to suspend its new power nuclear power stations project in the UK that Horizon Nuclear Power Limited (HNP), a subsidiary … has been undertaken at Wylfa Newydd.” Horizon Chief Executive Officer Duncan Hawthorne added that the company “Will be suspending the development of the Wylfa Newydd project, as well as work related to Oldbury, until a solution can be found.”
The government and the company had been meeting since last summer to try to develop a financial plan that would support the projects. However, no agreement could be reached although both parties said the negotiations were conducted in good faith. “Despite extensive negotiations and hard work by all sides, the government and Hitachi are unable to reach and agreement to proceed at this stage,” said a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is expected to pave the way for business projects in Britain. BEIS said it was committed to nuclear power, but that it was reviewing its funding model which is used to help large projects get underway.
Hitachi also said it was remaining committed to the nuclear power sector. “To further contribute to UK energy policy, Hitachi will continue to discuss a nuclear power program with the UK government,” the company said, adding that “in Japan, Hitachi will be steadily engaged in the restarting of domestic nuclear power plants and the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station for the foreseeable future.” The company also planned to remain engaged in “solutions to support improvements in availability of power plants and extension of plant life.”
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