Horizon suspends UK nuclear new build activities

Gloucester, United Kingdom, January 17, 2019 --- Horizon Nuclear Power has today announced that it will suspend its UK nuclear development programme, following a decision taken by its parent company Hitachi, Ltd. Horizon is developing the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey in North Wales and has a second site at Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire.
The company has informed the UK Government of the decision taken at the Hitachi Board meeting on 17th January not to continue with the current programme of activities.
 
Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power said:
“We have made very strong progress on all aspects of the project’s development, including the UK design of our tried and tested reactor, supply chain development and especially the building of a very capable organisation of talented and committed people.
 
“We have been in close discussions with the UK Government, in cooperation with the Government of Japan, on the financing and associated commercial arrangements for our project for some years now. I am very sorry to say that despite the best efforts of everyone involved we’ve not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned.”
 
“As a result we will be suspending the development of the Wylfa Newydd project, as well as work related to Oldbury, until a solution can be found. In the meantime we will take steps to reduce our presence but keep the option to resume development in future.”
 
Addressing the effects that this decision will have, Mr Hawthorne said:
“Clearly this will have a significant impact for all involved with our project. We will look to minimise this as much as possible as we move into this next phase and we will begin
consultation on the implications immediately with our staff who have shown extraordinary talent, resilience and determination to take this complex and exciting project to this stage.”
 
“We will also engage closely with the many international and UK-based stakeholders who have strongly supported the project’s development, especially our lead host community of Anglesey in Wales, represented by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Welsh Government, and the key representatives around Oldbury.”
 
Mr Hawthorne said nuclear remained critical to delivering the secure, low carbon and affordable energy the UK needs.
 
“As shown by our completion of the Generic Design Assessment for the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, I am confident that the technology can play an important role in helping tackle our energy needs and meeting our climate change targets. Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey remains the best site for nuclear development in the UK and we remain committed to keeping channels of communication open with the Government and our other key stakeholders regarding future options at both our sites.”
 
For more information contact:
 
Horizon:
Ben Russell - 01242 713604 / 07580 948 106 / ben.russell@horizonnuclearpower.com
Phillippa Burgess - 01242 507702 / 07393802219 / phillippa.burgess@horizonnuclearpower.com
Richard Foxhall (Wales & local / Welsh Language media) - 07807 769265 / richard.foxhall@horizonnuclearpower.com.
 
Hitachi:
Yoshimasa Doi – +44 (0)1628 585384 / Yoshimasa.doi@hitachi-eu.com
Kelly Smith – +44 (0)1628 585379 or Kelly.smith@hitachi-eu.com
 
Notes to editors:
Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi, Ltd. in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5,800MW of new nuclear power generation plant at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. Its power station sites will employ up to 850 people each once operational with construction workforces of up to 9,000.