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Future of £12bn Wylfa Newydd hangs in the balance

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The future of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station looks less than certain after the president and CEO of Hitachi, Toshiaki Higashihara, revealed the project may be "frozen" if it was found to be economically unfeasible. Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe is currently supporting Horizon Nuclear Power - which is also owned by the Japanese conglomerate - in the delivery of the £12bn nuclear new build, located on the Isle of Anglesey.

Speaking at the end of last year, Higashihara explained that Hitachi was still seeking investors for the project, noting there was a limit to the level of risk Hitachi is able to own. He commented: "If it is economically feasible and reasonable we will implement the project. But if not . . . the project may be frozen, but this is not decided yet."

He confirmed that decision about whether or not to progress the project would need to be taken before the end of the 2019 fiscal year.

Wylfa isn’t the only UK nuclear project struggling to get off the ground. Late last year Toshiba revealed it was winding up its UK nuclear development business NuGen, the company behind the Moorside project in Cumbria (EA 13-Nov-18). According to National Infrastructure Commission the development of nuclear new builds has become increasingly costly, particularly when compared to renewables (EA 16-Jun-18).

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