Wylfa Newydd: Chancellor Philip Hammond 'hopeful' of nuclear plant deal

Wylfa Newydd Image copyright Horizon Nuclear

Work on a multi-billion pound UK nuclear project could still "go ahead" if a new financing model is found, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Japanese firm Hitachi cited rising costs for halting work on the £13bn plant at Wylfa Newydd, Anglesey.

It had been in talks with the UK government since June about funding for the project, which was being built by its Horizon subsidiary.

Mr Hammond said an alternative model was being worked on.

"Obviously we are disappointed by the decision of Hitachi to suspend work on the Wylfa project, but we haven't given up hope," he told the House of Commons.

"They retain the site and we hope that the work that we're doing on a possible alternative financing model may yet allow the project to go ahead."

The decision by Hitachi has put the creation of thousands of jobs at risk.

About 9,000 workers had been expected to be involved in building the two nuclear reactors, which were due to be operational by the mid-2020s.

Hitachi has also suspended work on another site, in Oldbury in Gloucestershire, "until a solution can be found".

If the Wylfa Newydd project is scrapped, it leaves the Hinkley Point power station in Somerset as the only new UK reactor still being built.

There are plans for new plants at Bradwell and Sizewell, but neither is currently under construction.

The UK nuclear industry

  • Successive governments have supported nuclear as a low-carbon way of generating electricity
  • The UK has 15 nuclear reactors, generating about 21% of its electricity
  • Britain's newest nuclear power station is Sizewell B, which started generating in 1995
  • Sizewell B's expected shutdown date is in 2035
  • ONS said in 2014 that there were 15,500 people employed in the civil nuclear industry.

Source: House of Commons Library (except when other source given) and BBC Reality Check

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