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Anglesey UK: economy stagnates during the struggle to find finance for Wylfa Newydd New Nuclear

hungry-nukes 1flag-UKWylfa Newydd  NuClear News No 91, Jan 2017 “The Government knows that solar and wind will be cheaper by the time Hinkley is generating” says Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey. “It is blindingly obvious that solar and wind will win through in the end.” (21)

If the French nuclear industry managed to somehow get through its current difficulties ,EDF and China’s state-backed CGN can always appeal to their respective governments to help fund delivery of Hinkley Point C if things go pear-shaped, but Horizon, which is proposing to build two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey and two at Oldbury in Gloucestershire doesn’t have that luxury. Instead it will need to raise much more of its capital funding through attracting private investors – and proving to them it’s a safe bet. Horizon’s CEO Duncan Hawthorne admits this will be a challenge. “Quite honestly, we can’t point to a large parade of successful (nuclear) projects … We have to have a credible story in order to get financial support for the build costs”. He has got to somehow show that it is possible to construct a plant that will guarantee to investors it can be built on time and budget – and be commercially viable. (22) Given that there were only four ABWRs operating anywhere in the world before Fukushima with an average load factor of only 45%, and all have been closed since 2011, this might be a tall order for Hawthorne. (23)

The Japanese government and Hitachi are reported to be putting together a package worth £6.79bn to finance the Wylfa. The total cost of the project is expected to be around £19bn. There has been talk, according to the Nikkei Asian Review of the UK Government shouldering 25% of the cost. Even if that were the case that still leaves £11.5bn to be found from somewhere. (24)

While Wales and the global climate waits for Horizon to prove something that might well be impossible to prove the local economy on Anglesey has been “allowed to stagnate over decades due to a promise that nuclear power would come and save the day”. Robat Idris from People Against Wylfa B says residents are concerned about nuclear waste from the proposed Wylfa Newydd power plant and were not convinced that any new jobs would be for local people. He says focusing efforts on bringing renewable and community energy schemes to Anglesey would offer more long-term benefits. (25)

December 17, 2016 - Posted by | business and costs, UK

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