Japanese news sources are reporting that a deal has been agreed for the Wylfa Newydd nuclear project in Anglesey, Wales. The UK and Japanese governments are set to extend a combined 2.2 trillion yen (£15 billion) in loans and investment with the help of financial institutions, taking a stake in Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd.
The Horizon Nuclear Power venture has developed plans for units with a combined capacity of 5.4 GW at Wylfa Newydd which is on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury, in South Gloucestershire. Both are being built next to decommissioned Magnox nuclear power stations.
In 2012, RWE npower and E.ON which had formed the joint venture, announced they would be pulling out of developing new nuclear power plants. Horizon was bought by Hitachi for an estimated price of £700 million, announcing it would build two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at the Wylfa site. The ABWR received Stage 3 Generic Design Assessment approval by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) in December 2017.
In April 2017, Horizon Nuclear applied for a site license at the Wylfa location. The Wylfa Newydd project is expected to finalise approvals and make a Final Investment Decision by 2019 or early 2020, although Horizon have made it clear that its continuation in the project will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the Government on a strike price which they hope to have agreed in the first half of 2018. A development consent order (DCO) application for Wylfa Newydd will be submitted early in 2018, with in the order of 18 months expected for planning permission to be granted.
Horizon previously advised that a joint venture of US giant Bechtel, Japanese firm JGC Corporation and Hitachi Nuclear Energy, will deliver the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station. The developers have put forward proposals to clear the 121 hectares site, prior to receiving planning permission in order to reduce the construction time by about 18 months.
If everything did go according to plan, the first reactor could start up in 2025.
You can learn more about the UK nuclear sector in our article The UK nuclear power sector - 2018 will be a pivotal year.
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