Fresh doubts on new nuclear: reports

The ongoing uncertainty over EDF’s Hinkley Point has cast doubt over the UK’s second planned new nuclear plant, Horizon’s Wylfa Newydd project, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

The newspaper reported this weekend that Hitachi chairman and chief executive Hiroaki Nakanishi expressed his concerns to the foreign secretary Philip Hammond when Hammond visited Japan earlier this month.

Nakanishi told the Telegraph: “The DECC worries about the stability of the scheduled construction of the [Hinkley Point] nuclear power plant, so some of the conditions – the credit requirements – those kind of things may affect us.

“In order to set up the financial conditions [to build Hinkley], Chinese capital was introduced, but what the real result will be – we have a very serious concern about that.”

Horizon expects to present full and final proposals later this year and is currently hoping to start generating power within the first half of the 2020s. It plans to generate more than 2,700 MW at the site using two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors supplied by Hitachi, which bought Horizon Nuclear Power in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that a get-out clause in the government’s contract with EDF, allowing the Treasury to back out of financial support if the French energy giant’s troubled Flamanville nuclear plant is not up and running by 2020, could put further pressure on the project. EDF is believed to have delayed a final investment decision on Hinkley until next month at the earliest, amid growing concerns over the financing of the proposed nuclear plant.

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