A Japanese company is abandoning plans to build a new nuclear power station on Anglesey, off the coast of north Wales, dashing hopes for thousands of jobs involved in its construction and knocking the UK’s ambition to become a “net zero carbon” emission country by 2050 off course.
Hitachi, the Tokyo-based multinational, is expected on Wednesday to announce it is permanently scrapping plans for the £16bn Wylfa power station. Work on the Wylfa Newydd project, which is next door to an existing, decommissioned power plant, had already been suspended after Hitachi failed to reach a funding agreement with the UK government, but the planning process continued.
Justin Bowden, national officer of the GMB union, said: “This utterly predictable announcement from Hitachi is the outcome of successive government failures to act decisively around new nuclear, and in particular how it is financed. New nuclear is vital in achieving decarbonisation, especially when teamed up with hydrogen.
“It’s no coincidence that around the world – almost without exception – it’s governments who finance these projects, as they are the lender of last resort when it comes to keeping the lights on. The fanciful experiment of trying to get foreign companies or governments to fund our future energy needs leaves most ordinary citizens in this country bewildered.”