Professor Andrew Sherry from the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester says that despite this setback, nuclear remains the energy choice of the future.
Greenpeace UK's policy director Doug Parr says the Government needs to reconsider its energy strategy, with a nuclear future now clearly no longer a viable option.
Shadow chancellor Ed Ball claims a confusing energy policy and the Government's economic plans are making foreign firms think twice about investing in the UK.
Professor Dame Sue Ion, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the decision by RWE and E.ON was a warning to the Government.
Not only is new nuclear build stalling, but investment is stalling generally across the energy industry.
Large amounts of capital require large amounts of cash and the recession, especially in Europe, is making access to cash difficult.
This decision will bring home to government how challenging it is when investment decisions are left entirely to the market.
We are now in a position where investment by UK utilities in the UK is being affected by decisions taken overseas.
The 'Horizon Nuclear Project' looked to develop nuclear reactors at Wylfa in North Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire.
The Welsh Government said: "This is disappointing news. The First Minister made it clear that Anglesey remains the best option for a nuclear development and has asked for the full support of the UK Government as we work with Horizon to deliver this investment and secure jobs for workers at Wylfa."
– Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary
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. RWE and E.ON’s decision to not proceed with the Horizon Nuclear Project is disappointing, and underscores the importance of the Government’s electricity market reform delivering a framework that will provide certainty and confidence for other potential investors.
The union Unite is urging the Government to get Project Horizon back on track to help secure thousands of skilled jobs. It had the potential to bring £3 billion into the UK supply chain:
– Kevin Coyne, Unite national officer
The UK Government must not allow this crucial UK project to fail because of decisions being made in Germany. Britain needs Project Horizon to succeed for the sake of our future energy needs and thousands of skilled jobs which would be created as a result. The Government must urgently do everything possible to get Project Horizon back on track by finding buyers to take over the project.
E.ON says despite pulling out of new nuclear it will:
- Continue to develop its £736 million Humber Gateway offshore wind project
- Develop its £120 million biomass plant in Sheffield
- Has invested £1 billion in the past year in the UK
- RWE npower says it has invested £1.2 billion in new renewable energy in the UK in the past three years
– CHARLES HENDRY, ENERGY MINISTER
E.ON and RWE's withdrawal is clearly very disappointing, but the partners have clearly explained that this decision was based on pressures elsewhere in their businesses and not any doubts about the role of nuclear in UK's energy future.
The UK's new nuclear programme is far more than one consortia and there remains considerable interest.