Major U.S. construction firm Bechtel Corp. is to withdraw from its key role in building a nuclear power plant in Britain due to concerns over the Hitachi Ltd.-helmed project’s profitability, sources said Aug. 16. Bechtel made the decision based on its assessment that the drastic rise in construction costs would make it hard to make money on the project, the sources said. The withdrawal deals a blow to Tokyo-based Hitachi, which lacks experience in nuclear power plant construction. The conglomerate could now face further difficulties in financing the project. The Japanese government supports the construction project as an “export of nuclear power generation technologies,” but even so, its future is becoming more and more uncertain. Hitachi plans to build a nuclear power plant equipped with two reactors on the island of Anglesey in Wales. Overall costs are expected to reach about 3 trillion yen ($27 billion), mainly due to measures to meet safety standards strengthened globally after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. According to the sources, however, the overall costs estimated by Bechtel are higher than Hitachi’s, making it impossible for Bechtel and Hitachi to agree on the price tag. As a result, Bechtel decided to withdraw from its key role in construction and only offer a consulting service.
Asahi Shimbun 17th Aug 2017 read more »
In response to reports in the Japanese press of the US construction firm Bechtel pulling out of their key role in constructing a nuclear reactor at Wylfa, Anglesey, Nina Schrank, energy campiagner at Greenpeace UK, said -“In another huge blow to the UK’s crumbling nuclear power programme, the construction firm Bechtel have pulled out of building a £20 billion reactor at Wylfa due to their belief that Hitachi’s cost estimate is too low. As Bechtel’s decision is very likely to increase costs still further, this just accelerates the industry’s death spiral. Now would be a very good time for the UK to leave this sinking ship and invest in the cleaner, cheaper, renewable technologies which will be powering the 21st century.”
Greenpeace 17th Aug 2017 read more »