Ministers are considering investing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in a new nuclear power plant on Anglesey, which they say would deliver cheaper electricity than Hinkley Point. In a policy shift, Greg Clark, the business secretary, confirmed last night that state investment was on the cards for the proposed Wylfa plant, which could power five million homes and is estimated to cost £15 billion. The announcement marks a rejection of the widely criticised private sector funding model used for Hinkley Point in Somerset, and a return to state investment in major power plants for the first time since the electricity industry was privatised. Sources suggested the government could invest between £1 billion and £2 billion in Wylfa, alongside equal investments by Hitachi, the Japanese conglomerate developing the plant, and the Japanese government. The remainder of the cost would be met through loans, which are likely to be underpinned by guarantees from the UK government. The proposed twin-reactor power plant on the Welsh island could generate about 2.9 gigawatts of electricity, enough to meet about 6 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs. It could start operating in the mid-2020s. Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, said: “Taking a stake in this nuclear monstrosity would see taxpayers locked into the project, and paying out for a form of electricity generation that’s not fit for the future.”
Times 5th June 2018 read more »
The British government and Hitachi Ltd. have agreed to begin full-scale negotiations about the Japanese firm potentially constructing nuclear power facilities in the country. “I am pleased to confirm that today Hitachi and the U.K. government have decided to enter into negotiations in relation to the proposed Wylfa Newydd project,” British Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said in a statement on Monday. The announcement came after both sides agreed on a cost-sharing mix for the project to build two advanced boiling water reactors on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. Under their agreement, the British side would shoulder about two-thirds of the estimated 3 trillion yen ($23.5 billion) cost through direct government investment and loan guarantees. “For this project, the government will be considering direct investment alongside Hitachi, and the Japanese government agencies and other parties,” Clark said. Hitachi said separately on Tuesday that it will assess the project’s business case before making a final decision on whether to go ahead. It remains unclear whether the project as a whole will be profitable, as Hitachi and the British government are at odds over the purchase price of electricity to be produced at the plant, a source close to the matter said earlier. The purchase price offer by the British government, which is considerate of local opposition, is some 20 percent lower than the price the Japanese company desires, according to the source.
Mainichi 5th June 2018 read more »
The U.K. has agreed to finance a nuclear plant that Hitachi aims to construct and launch in the country in the next decade. The memorandum of understanding comes after Hitachi decided at a May 28 board meeting to continue pursuing a deal to build a two-reactor plant on the Welsh island of Anglesey, at a total cost of more than 3 trillion yen ($27.3 billion). The British government will arrange the entire 2 trillion yen in loans that Hitachi requested, sweetening its offer from a previously proposed 1 trillion yen. Greg Clark, the U.K.’s secretary of state for business, energy and industry, told parliament on Monday that the U.K. would consider direct investment in the plant and had agreed with Hitachi to enter negotiations on the construction. “This is an important next step for the project,” he said.
Nikkei Asian Review 5th June 2018 read more »
Kate Blagojevic, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: “The notion that new nuclear will be good value for money is farcical when it’s so much more expensive than cleaner, safer renewable alternatives that are faster to build.”
BBC 4th June 2018 read more »
The UK will take a £5bn-plus stake in a new nuclear power station in Wales in a striking reversal of decades-long government policy ruling out direct investment in nuclear projects. Ministers said they had reached an initial agreement with the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi to back the Wylfa plant but emphasised that no final decision had yet been made and negotiations were just beginning. In 2010, the Conservatives insisted there “must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns” on new nuclear plants. However, the Wylfa deal overturns that position.
Guardian 4th June 2018 read more »
The Government is in talks to take a direct stake in a nuclear power project for the first time in over forty years by ploughing taxpayers’ money into a £20bn plant in Wales. Business Secretary Greg Clark ended months of speculation by confirming that he is hoping to strike a deal with the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi and the Japanese government to take a stake in the 2.9GW Wylfa nuclear project on the Isle of Anglesey. However, the minister stopped short of providing details of the potential deal which is still under discussion.
Telegraph 4th June 2018 read more »
FT 4th June 2018 read more »
Business Green 4th June 2018 read more »
Energy Voice 4th June 2018 read more »
Reuters 4th June 2018 read more »
Daily Mail 5th June 2018 read more »
Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed that the UK would be committing £5bn of UK taxpayers’ cash into the Wyfla nuclear power plant in Wales. The move is a marked U-turn from the Government after previously ruling out direct investment in nuclear projects.
Politics Home 4th June 2018 read more »
Greg Clark’s announcement in Parliament.
Hansard 4th June 2018 read more »
First Minister Carwyn Jones has called on the UK government to work “more closely” with his administration on a new nuclear power station on Anglesey. On Monday, MPs were told by Energy secretary Greg Clark that negotiations on Wylfa Newydd have started. The news has been heralded as a major step forward for the scheme – which could be financed by public money. The developers applied for formal planning consent on Tuesday for permission to build the £12bn project. Horizon Nuclear Power have submitted 41,000-pages dossier to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order – as well as four other permits – to construct and open the new station by the mid 2020s. Mr Jones said the Welsh Government should be involved with future talks. He said: “The Wylfa Newydd project has the potential to transform the Welsh economy. “It is vital that the Welsh Government has a seat at the table as the project progresses to the next stage and I will continue to press for this.
BBC 5th June 2018 read more »
For the sake of artificially massaging down the price paid for electricity from the proposed Wylfa nuclear plant the Government is about to commit the country to pay for billions of pounds of almost inevitable construction cost overruns. In doing so the Tories will be junking their opposition to doing such a thing. In 2010 The Conservative Party election manifesto stated that: ‘we agree with the nuclear industry that taxpayer and consumer subsidies should not and will not be provided – in particular there must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns’ There was a very good reason for this manifesto commitment. None of the nuclear power plant currently operating in the UK were constructed according to their original cost estimates. They were built during the time when electricity was nationalised, and so the costs were spread around all consumers and there was limited transparency about the economics of building nuclear plants. The Tories decided that there should be no more wastage of public money on nuclear plant which soaked the public purse. They wanted competition in electricity generation. Nick Butler in the Financial Times has made some perceptive comments on this peculiar deal. He is one of the few who has done some serious thinking about how it can possibly be the case that the Wylfa project will be sold on a ‘cheaper’ price than Hinkley C despite the fact that the projected cost of building Wylfa is actually higher than Hinkley The remarkable thing is that despite this effort at price fakery, the price agreed will still be a lot higher than that available for installing large amounts of onshore wind offshore wind and solar power.
Dave Toke’s Blog 4th June 2018 read more »
UK Government to start talks with Japanese government and Horizon Nuclear Power on direct investment for Wylfa.
North West Chronicle 4th June 2018 read more »
Wales Online 4th June 2018 read more »
The Green Party of England and Wales today criticised Westminster plans to scrap the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon which would take place the same day they sign off on the Wyfla nuclear plant on Anglesey. Deputy Leader Amelia Womack, who last ran in the 2016 Welsh Assembly Election, argued that the prioritisation of nuclear power over tidal was further evidence that the Government had no strategy for moving Wales to a clean, renewable future. Womack also noted that the inconsistencies in the costs quoted from Hitachi, combined with the cost of the Anglesey project in comparison to cheaper offshore wind projects, were proof that the nuclear project lacks both financial and environmental sustainability.
Green Party 4th June 2018 read more »