Hitachi to suspend all work on UK nuclear plant. Funding deadlock looks set to sink Japan’s last overseas nuclear project. Hitachi plans to put a U.K. nuclear power project on hold as negotiations with the British government over funding hit an impasse, all but closing the book on Tokyo’s vision for nuclear infrastructure exports. The Japanese industrial conglomerate’s board is expected to officially decide next week to suspend all work on the plant, including design and preparations for construction. Hitachi will freeze the roughly 300 billion yen ($2.77 billion) in assets held by its British nuclear business and write down their value, likely booking a loss of 200 billion yen to 300 billion yen for the fiscal year ending in March. The move would bring to a halt Japan’s last active overseas nuclear project after the news last month that a Japanese-led consortium including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was scrapping a project in Turkey. With the aversion to nuclear power that took hold after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster showing little sign of abating, prospects look grim for a sector that the Japanese government had positioned as a pillar of its infrastructure export drive. Hitachi had taken on the planned construction of two reactors on the Welsh island of Anglesey after acquiring U.K.-based Horizon Nuclear Power in 2012. The company is leaving the door open to a return. The project is “not being abandoned,” a source close to Hitachi told Nikkei, suggesting the company would keep an eye on the situation and resume the project if possible. While negotiations with London are apparently set to continue, reworking the project to the extent Hitachi requires will be no easy task. As things stand now, it appears likely that the company will ultimately be forced to bow out.
Nikkei Asian Review 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Reuters 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Hitachi said “no formal decision” has been made over the future of a UK nuclear plant following a report it would halt construction. The Nikkei Asian Review reported the firm’s board would be likely to decide to suspend all work on the Wylfa Newydd plant next week. Shares in the Japanese company jumped 8% after the report. In December, the firm said it would do its utmost to ensure the nuclear power facility went ahead. It followed mounting speculation that Hitachi was considering scrapping the project due to potential increases in construction costs. On Friday, the firm said suspension of the project remained an option. “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,” it said in a statement.
BBC 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Following a report halting construction, Hitachi has revealed “no formal decision” has been made on the future of a UK nuclear power plant. The Nikkei Asian Review reported Hitachi’s firm’s board would be likely to decide to suspend all work on the Wylfa Newydd plant next week (commencing January 14). Shares in the Japanese company jumped eight per cent following the report. In December, Hitachi was adamant the plant’s construction would go ahead. However, the firm has recently said suspension of the project is still an option.
Bdaily 11th Jan 2019 read more »
Japan is struggling to find viable foreign buyers for its reactor technology in an expensive and competitive global nuclear market. Only half a dozen nations currently have credible nuclear export capabilities. And besides Japan, the true export potential of at least two — the U.S. and France — is in doubt. A recent report in the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun said a government strategy to export nuclear power technology had “run aground amid rising safety costs and deteriorating prospects for project profitability.” Proposed projects in Turkey and the United Kingdom had both hit roadblocks, the Mainichi Shimbun noted. The report cited an expert who predicted Japan might have to import Chinese-made reactors within a couple of decades.
Green Tech Media 10th Jan 2019 read more »