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Hitachi ‘won’t pay’ for nuclear accidents at proposed Wylfa plant on Anglesey

Times 30th May 2018 Hitachi ‘won’t pay’ for nuclear accidents at proposed Wylfa plant on Anglesey. Hitachi could seek to absolve itself of financial responsibility for any accidents at its proposed new nuclear power station in north Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate has decided to continue with work developing the planned Wylfa plant on Anglesey after progress in financing talks with the government, which Hitachi is already relying on for a package of loan guarantees, subsidies and potential direct investment to make the project viable.

However, the company wants further concessions to reduce its risks, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported. Reports in several Japanese media outlets have claimed that the Wylfa plant could cost as much as three trillion yen, or almost £21 billion — making it even more expensive than Hinkley Point C.

EDF decided to build Hinkley Point only thanks to a 35-year subsidy contract from the government, which locks consumers into paying a fixed price for the power it generates and has been criticised for its high cost.

The Nikkei reported that some of Hitachi’s directors also wanted “safeguards that reduce or eliminate Hitachi’s financial
responsibility for accidents at the plant”. Nuclear operators are already obliged to take out insurance to cover their liabilities in case of an accident. If they are unable to secure insurance from the market, the government is obliged to step in and provide it instead. It is unclear what alternative arrangement or safeguards Hitachi might be seeking.

June 1, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics, UK

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