Britain’s nuclear recovery plan fell into chaos after the news that the second Japanese company planned to suspend its nuclear power plant project. The British government has put atomic energy at the heart of its efforts to attract 100 billion pounds ($130 billion) in investment to upgrade its aging reactors that need to remain operational. Nuclear power is seen as a key part of the future power structure, complementing the growing share of renewable energy.

How should Britain's nuclear power revival plan be implemented

It is reported that Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese enterprise group, will suspend the work of wylfa project and negotiate with the British government on the stagnation of funds. In November 2018, Toshiba announced its withdrawal from the Moorside nuclear power project in the UK. Currently, only EDF’s Hinkley point project is in progress and is in dispute due to delays and costs for British consumers.

“All new nuclear power construction is very expensive,” said deepA Venkateswaran, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein Co., Ltd. in London by telephone. EDF has been criticized for its high cost and is under great pressure to reduce costs. Hitachi may not be able to obtain the required financial support.

For decades, nuclear power has been the backbone of Britain’s energy structure. However, in order to maintain this, all eight nuclear power plants of EDF must be upgraded.

Although some European countries, including Germany, decided to withdraw from the technology after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the UK has promoted the plan of a new reactor. Nuclear power is seen as a more climate friendly alternative to coal-fired power stations, which will be completely phased out in the middle of the next decade.

“British politicians will continue to advance the nuclear program, so now we must provide developers with more attractive conditions to ensure that we build sufficient atomic capacity and replace aging reactors in time,” said elchin mammadov, a Bloomberg utility analyst.

Strategic importance

Before Nikkei pointed out Hitachi’s plan to withdraw, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the project was of “strategic importance” to both countries, but there was no discussion when he met British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Thursday. Mei said at a joint press conference that this would be Hitachi’s “business decision”.

The UK Department of Commerce, energy and industrial strategy said that “an agreement with Hitachi to provide consumers and taxpayers with more cost-effective information on the wylfa project is under way.”

Hitachi is expected to lose 200 billion yen to 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) after freezing the assets of its UK nuclear business, and responded to questions raised by Bloomberg news, saying that the company is reviewing the project and has not made a final decision.

The Nikkei said the company’s board of directors would make a decision next week and quoted an executive as saying, “the project has not been completely abandoned and may be restarted in the future.”

Toshiba said in November that it planned to liquidate its UK nuclear power developer nugeneration Ltd after failing to find a partner or buyer for the Moorside project. In September 2018, CNNC indicated that it might give up the opportunity to operate a nuclear power plant in bradwell because of political sensitivity and other issues.

As Britain’s nuclear options have been exhausted, other technologies will benefit. “We think offshore wind energy is becoming more and more feasible. Natural gas power generation may provide a large base load for future renewable energy,” said John musk, a utility analyst at RBC Europe

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