Hitachi will confirm today, 16 September, that it has finally abandoned its plans to build a nuclear power station in Anglesey, Wales at a projected cost of £20 billion. Hitachi had been in talks with the UK government over financial support for the venture, citing rising construction costs, but has failed to each agreement.
Work on the Wylfa Newydd project, the ‘Horizon project’, on a site next to an existing, decommissioned power plant, was suspended in January 2019 after Hitachi failed to reach a funding agreement with the UK government, but the planning process continued. 20 months have passed since the suspension, and the investment environment has become increasingly severe owing to the impact of Covid-19.
Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, commented “Nuclear power’s ever rising costs overtook the ever falling costs of renewables years ago, and a new reactor now supplies electricity at more than double the price of a new offshore wind farm. Propping up this dying industry has become more and more difficult and expensive for the handful of governments still hoping for a nuclear renaissance. We’re hoping the UK government will take Hitachi’s decision to abandon Wylfa as final confirmation of what the energy market has long been trying to tell them – Britain’s future is renewable.”