Horizon a ‘risky and expensive gamble’ for Hitachi

The Horizon nuclear project is a “risky and expensive gamble” for Japanese giant Hitachi. That’s according to Friends of the Earth whose comment follows yesterday’s news about Hitachi’s deal to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Horizon nuclear project is a “risky and expensive gamble” for Japanese giant Hitachi.

That’s according to Friends of the Earth whose comment follows yesterday’s news about Hitachi’s deal to buy the nuclear project from E.ON and RWE.

The Japanese firm plans to build reactors at each of Horizon’s sites at Wylfa, Anglesey and Oldbury, Gloucestershire, the first of which should be operating within a decade.

Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth’s Energy Campaigner said: “This is a risky and expensive gamble for Hitachi that other energy firms are unwilling to take – and contrary to the promises the Coalition has made, the public will end up funding it. Nuclear has always delivered late and over budget and crucially it won’t reduce emissions until the 2020s, when to tackle climate change, we need emissions cuts to happen straight away.

“The Government should listen to the vast majority of the public who back renewable alternatives from our wind, sun and sea – investment in clean British energy like this is creating jobs and bringing down costs, while the price of nuclear is going up.”

However, a trade body for the UK’s nuclear industry said the deal shows strong investor confidence in the UK.

Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) said: “The sale of Horizon is a tremendous boost for the UK new build programme and the UK nuclear industry. Horizon is committed to help meet the UK’s need for stable and sustainable low carbon energy by building Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at Wylfa and Oldbury. This announcement is good news for the UK supply chain, for jobs in the nuclear sector, and for the wider economy.”

NIA claims power generated by existing power stations cuts 40 million tonnes of carbon per year – the equivalent of taking nearly half of Britain’s cars off the roads.