business

Hitachi suspends work on nuclear plant in Wales due to financing problems

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By Paul Ellis

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© 2019 AFP

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The company said in a statement the decision was made "from the viewpoint of Hitachi's economic rationality as a private enterprise

Right....

The setbacks have dealt a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to help Japan Inc export its infrastructure -- a key pillar of his business diplomacy.

I can just hear the news coming in the near future from Suga, in some press conference in the next few months,

"The Abe cabinet today has decided to patriotically stand behind Hitachi and have dedicated an additional 400 Billion yen to support their Nuclear construction in England. Hitachi is a Japanese brand, and we must support them"

(The extra 100 billion going to the coffers of other businesses to assuage their egos for not thinking of this in the first place, to get more public money for themselves! )

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This article fails to mention that the end of Wylfa also means the end of another planned Hitachi nuclear plant at Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Together with the Toshiba pull out at Moorside in Cumbria, this means the UK has lost three plants that would have provided 15% of its electricity needs.

The setbacks have dealt a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to help Japan Inc export its infrastructure -- a key pillar of his business diplomacy.

The French company EDF Energy is building a plant at Hinkley while the Chinese company CGN is planning one at Bradwell in Essex. Why can they do it but the two Japanese companies can't? The feeble "blame Brexit" excuse slipped into the article doesn't seem to have affected other companies.....

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Alfie Noakes

Why can they do it but the two Japanese companies can't?

Toshiba/Westinghouse's AP1000 had US and EU certifications but never completed; it was first time construction that ran into delays that cost tens of billions and bankrupted Toshiba/Westinghouse.

GE Hitachi's ESBWR with US and UK certifications(But not EU) likewise was never built anywhere and ran into delays that raised cost by billions.

The only "Western" nuclear power plant that has completed four units and is proven to be constructed on time and on budget is Korea's APR-1400, which has US and EU certifications but not the UK one. Talks with Korean government over APR-1400 stalled due to spent fuel reprocessing. The UK is demanding that Korea take back spent fuel but Korea is insisting that they be reprocessed and stored within UK, because Korea doesn't have the right to reprocess spent nuclear fuel due to the US opposition while UK does as a declared nuclear power.

Chinese nuclear power plant isn't certified by either the US, EU, or UK, and UK will be the first western country attempting to certify it. This is an unproven design that comes with Chinese state's favorable financing term and subsidy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why can they do it but the two Japanese companies can't? The feeble "blame Brexit" excuse slipped into the article doesn't seem to have affected other companies.....

Why can't Brits build their own nuclear power stations? After all, they invented the things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

good. the last thing the UK needs is more nuclear power.. especially from Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Samit Basu - very informative response. Is all that info online ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Bungle

Why can't Brits build their own nuclear power stations?

Britain has entered the Post-Industrial Era with an economy driven by finances and tourism, but declining manufacturing. Sounds familiar?

@mmwkdw

Is all that info online ?

In pieces. If you are looking for single URL that will provide all that info, you won't find it.

The reason Areva, Toshiba/Westinghouse, and GE Hitachi lost tens of billions and are pulling out or going bankrupt is because their latest reactors are first time constructions with unexpected delays. None of these reactor designs has actually completed single unit after a decade of trying.

The only safe way to buy a nuclear power plant is to buy a model that has completed a unit somewhere else, so that the actual cost and construction time frame are known. Only Korea's APR-1400 fits this description and is the only viable "Western" nuclear power plant design at the moment.

Of course Chinese are offering to assume all the financial risks if the UK adopted the Chinese design with no US/EU certifications(Just have a faith in Chinese certification), but the environmental risks is all UK's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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