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Old, unproven, unreliable nuclear technology planned for Britain’s Wylfa nuclear power station

Unearthed 5th June 2018 Hitachi is seeking billions of pounds from the British government to help build a new nuclear power plant at Anglesey in Wales – but experts say the technology being used is far from proven.

Last week Hitachi-rival Toshiba confirmed that they are pulling out of a major nuclear power project in the USA which planned to use a similar reactor type to the one planned for Wylfa. Toshiba said in a press release that the South Texas
Project had “ceased to be financially viable” due to prevailing economic conditions.

The announcement leaves the UK as one of the last countries looking to build this technology, called the Advanced Boiling
Water Reactor (ABWR). Steve Thomas, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Greenwich, said that while there are some small differences between the European reactor led by Hitachi and the abandoned US reactor
from Toshiba, the “perception that this is proven technology is not supported by the facts”.

Although there are four similar reactors that have been built in Japan, plans for construction elsewhere have seen a
series of failures. And because of the long lead-in times for developing and building nuclear reactors, power plants built today may have been designed decades ago, Thomas said

“The technology that has been built already is actually 30 year old technology, which has been updated twice
over. So the plants that are operating do not really represent what we would build, and also the performance of the plants in terms of their reliability has actually been very poor.”

June 8, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK

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