Boost to Britain's nuclear plans

Britain's nuclear expansion plans were boosted today after Japan's Hitachi signed a £700 million deal that will enable it to start building the next generation of power plants.

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Friends of the Earth: 'Hitachi plant is turning the clock back for Wales'

Friends of the Earth Cymru have spoken out against the announcement that Japanese company, Hitachi, will be building a nuclear power plant on Anglesey.

This is turning back the clock for Wales. Nuclear power is an expensive technology from the past that generates highly toxic nuclear waste that will be sitting around in Anglesey for the next 150 years.


Welsh Minister: 'Nuclear plans are terrific news for Anglesey'

Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones has insisted that new nuclear plants on Anglesey would be good for the Welsh economy, while Welsh Secretary David Jones called the deal a "huge boost" for the principality.

This is very good news for Wales and the UK. The potential benefits of a new nuclear development on Anglesey would be substantial - not just in creating thousands of highly skilled jobs and boosting the supply chain - but in helping to secure our energy supply in the future.


When I was appointed Secretary of State, I made it clear that securing a future for nuclear generation at Wylfa was my number one ambition.

Today's announcement is terrific news for Anglesey and the whole of North Wales.I have visited Wylfa many times and know there is a wealth of nuclear expertise and eager young apprentices on Anglesey; they can now look forward to a secure future of well-paid, high quality employment.

– David Jones, Welsh Secretary

Labour: 'Nuclear has a vital role to play'

Caroline Flint MP, Labour's Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said:

Nuclear power has a vital role to play as part of a more sustainable, balanced and low-carbon future energy mix, to make us less reliant on volatile fossil fuel prices, increase our energy security, and keep prices down for families.

Hitachi's decision to buy the Horizon Nuclear Project is welcome news for Britain's nuclear industry and underscores the importance that the Government’s electricity market reform should deliver a framework that will provide certainty and confidence for other potential investors. Ministers must ensure that Hitachi's decision to invest in the UK is used as an opportunity to encourage investment in nuclear research and design in the UK and to commit to supporting the UK domestic supply chain to ensure as many opportunities as possible are available to UK based businesses.

Greenpeace slams nuclear investment

Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Leila Deen:

It speaks volumes about the UK’s struggling nuclear programme that the Government is promoting a reactor that's years from being granted UK safety approval and is designed by the company that helped build Fukushima.

Instead of waiting years to find out how much billpayers will end up subsidising this project, the Government should join Japan and Germany, abandon nuclear, and invest instead in clean, renewable energy.


Unite: 'Hitachi is good news for jobs and low carbon future'

Unite has welcomed the news that Japanese company Hitachi will take over the Horizon venture, Kevin Coyne from the union said:

This is good news for the UK nuclear industry, for jobs and for a low carbon future. There are massive job opportunities here in the UK and we urge Hitachi to maximise the UK supply chain.

At a time when Britain's economy is struggling to grow and good jobs are scarce it is hugely important that the players entering the UK energy sector ensure that all parties involved throughout in this project commit to good quality direct employment that benefits local communities, apprenticeships and skills - especially for young people.

Institute of Directors welcomes Hitachi nuclear investment

After the announcement that Hitachi is buying the Horizon nuclear project, Corin Taylor, Senior Economic Adviser at the Institute of Directors, said:

Nuclear is one of the best ways to generate reliable low carbon electricity at scale, and the sale of Horizon gives the new nuclear programme a real boost.

Hitachi reactors are being built on time and on budget in Japan and there is no reason why we can’t expect the same in this country. The reactor approval process now needs to be undertaken swiftly and a realistic strike price set.

Davey: 'Horizon will provide cheaper energy through diversity'

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said the announcement was "a vote of confidence" in the Government's energy policy.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

This will show that international investors looking at our energy policy have a huge amount of confidence in it.

This will provide energy for 14 million homes, it will provide huge jobs, and I think it will put the UK in a fantastic position for exporting nuclear expertise.

What has been pushing up people's energy bills in recent years has been the increasing price of global gas.

We are having to import far more gas now as the gas in the North Sea declines in volume. That is very expensive.

Part of our whole energy policy is to diversify - a more balanced approach - so we are not over-dependent on one fuel supply.

'Horizon is an important milestone in securing low-carbon energy'

Mike Clancy, general secretary-designate of the Prospect union, said:

The successful bid by the Hitachi/SNC-Lavalin consortium sees a new entrant to the UK nuclear industry and demonstrates its faith in the economic promise the UK nuclear market offers both commerce and the economy as a whole.

The Horizon venture is an important milestone in securing future low-carbon energy generation capacity within the UK and its importance to local and national economies cannot be overstated.

While Hitachi's advanced boiling water reactor design has yet to undergo the UK's generic design assessment approval process, it is a proven technology and therefore any construction in the UK will benefit from lessons learned from its construction in Japan.

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