Government statement following blow to UK nuclear future

17 January 2019

Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy  addressed the Commons concerning the UKs nuclear future following the announcement that Hitachi have suspended development of a nuclear power station on Anglesey.

The £20bn Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey was expected to be operational by the mid 2020s and create 9000 jobs in the area.

Hitachi said they would keep the option open for future development but that at this time, "from the viewpoint of its economic rationality", the estimated annual cost of 600bn yen in operational costs and losses was not viable.

This is a second blow to the UK Nuclear energy industry, after Toshiba withdrew from a proposed nuclear power project in Moorside Cumbria. This means only one of three planned new nuclear power stations, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, is still in development with all but one of the UK's current nuclear stations due to be offllined by 2030.

The Government has been in conversations with Hitachi, a Japanese firm, for some months, but has been unable to reach an agreement.

Addressing the Commons, Greg Clark said,

“Nuclear has an important role to play, as part of a diverse energy mix, but it must be at a price that is fair to electricity bill payers and to taxpayers. We will work closely with Hitachi and the industry, to ensure that we find the best means of financing these and other new nuclear projects.” 

A full transcript of proceedings in the Commons Chamber will be available through Hansard three hours after they finish in the Chamber.

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