for Japanese


23 September, 2020

Hitachi to End Business Operations on UK Nuclear Power Project

On September 16, Hitachi, Ltd., announced that it would end business operations on a multi-billion-dollar project to construct nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the United Kingdom. It made the decision considering that twenty months had already elapsed since the project was suspended in January 2019, and also because the investment environment has “become increasingly severe” due to the impact of COVID-19.

In the project, Horizon Nuclear Power Limited in the UK— acquired by Hitachi in 2012 from the German power companies E.On and RWE—were to develop a nuclear power station (NPS) comprising two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) units (1,350 MW each) at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey, located in northwest Wales. After Hitachi underwent a generic design assessment (GDA) and obtained approval from UK regulators to deploy the UK ABWR in the country, it started negotiating with the national government on a financing model and other issues toward realizing the project, but failed to reach an agreement in the end. In January 2019, then, Hitachi decided to freeze the project from the viewpoint of economic rationality.

Because of the decision to withdraw from the project, Hitachi will now coordinate with the UK government and relevant organizations regarding the handling of the planned construction sites, future cooperation, and other matters. The decision is expected to have only a minor effect on Hitachi’s business results, however, because it had already posted, due to the suspension of the project, an impairment loss and other expenses totaling JPY294.6 billion (USD 2.8 billion at USD1=JPY104.77) in its consolidated financial results for fiscal 2018, the year ended March 31, 2019.

With the focus in Japan currently on restarting and decommissioning NPPs, there are concerns in the Japanese nuclear industry about maintaining technological capabilities in both designing and constructing NPPs. Last year, Hitachi President Toshiaki Higashihara expressed a sense of crisis upon the decision to freeze the UK project, particularly in regard to securing nuclear human resources for the future, saying, “We should discuss the matter with other manufacturers and come to a conclusion as quickly as possible.” Japan’s White Paper on Nuclear Energy 2019, issued last month, treated the development of nuclear human resources in a section on overseas topics, in which it pointed out the importance of maintaining knowhow and accumulating experience in plant construction. As points of comparison, it cited the situation in China, where the construction of new plants is proceeding, as well as those in Europe and North America, where there have been delays.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map


Voices from Nuclear Industry – Contributing to a clean and resilient recovery

3 September, 2020
Voices from Nuclear Industry – Contributing to a clean and resilient recovery03:59

Recent News

29 October, 2020
New Prime Minister Suga Enthusiastic for Carbon-Free Society by 2050
16 October, 2020
Government’s Strategic Policy Committee Starts Deliberations toward Revision of Strategic Energy Plan
13 October, 2020
NUMO Accepts Suttsu’s Application for Literature Survey in Selecting HLW Final Disposal Site—First Since Release of Map of Scientific Features
12 October, 2020
Nuclear Power Plant and Reactor Exporters’ Principles of Conduct (NuPoC)
9 October, 2020
NRA Approves Draft Review Report Finding MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant Compatible with Regulatory Standards
23 September, 2020
Hitachi to End Business Operations on UK Nuclear Power Project
15 September, 2020
Japan’s Cabinet Office to Hold Virtual Side Event on Radiation Cancer Therapy at IAEA General Conference
10 September, 2020
New Report Released on Nuclear Power’s Role in Dealing with Environment Issues
4 September, 2020
Japan’s NRA Says RFS’s Recyclable-Fuel Storage Center Is Compatible with Regulatory Standards
3 September, 2020
JAIF Issues Joint Video Message with Foreign Counterparts