Media reports from Britain and Japan on Monday were speculating on the possibility that Hitachi was set to pull out of the $20.5 billion Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant project with several key news outlets concluding that Hitachi’s withdrawal from the project was conclusive.
Union leaders in Britain who anticipated the creation of thousands of jobs are lamenting the projects demise due to a financial impasse in talks between Hitachi and the U.K. government, but some of the finger pointing was focused on Japan’s government for its lack of financial assistance.
News outlets in Britain called the U.K. government’s energy policy “in tatters” due to Toshiba’s recent cancellation of the Moorside project followed by Hitachi’s decision, which has not been formally announced and is not expected until after a Hitachi board of directors meeting scheduled for next week, according to The Guardian.
Hitachi announced that “no formal decision has been made in this regard currently, while Hitachi has been assessing the Horizon Project including its potential suspension and related financial impacts in terms of economic rationality as a private company.”
The wording of the statement was viewed as ominous given the acknowledgment of a “potential suspension” of the project and the negative coronations of the word “impacts.” In a more optimistic statement, the company might have referred to the “benefits” rather than the “impacts” of a project.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy noted the talks between Hitachi and the government were “ongoing.”
The Welsh government also said it was pushing for a breakthrough in the negotiations. “This is a major project with potentially significant economic benefits to Anglesey, north Wales and Wales,” said a spokesperson for the Welsh government.
Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary of the Prospect union said nuclear energy was “of significant strategic importance for the country.”
”The government must not sleepwalk into an energy security crisis by allowing these projects to fail one by one,” she said.
Hitachi is said to have spent about $2.5 billion developing the project, including $899 million spent purchasing the project from E.On and RWE in 2012.
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And now comes the dread waiting for an actual answer to whether or not it happens.