Job loss fears at Oldbury after Hitachi halt work at power station

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I am very sorry to say that despite the best efforts of everyone involved we've not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Hitachi have made clear themselves that while they are suspending project development at this stage, they wish to continue discussions with the government on bringing forward new nuclear projects at both Wylfa and Oldbury and we intend to work closely with them in the weeks and months ahead.

"We will look to minimise this as much as possible as we move into this next phase and we will begin consultation on the implications immediately with our staff".

Mr. Speaker, while negotiations were ongoing, I am sure the House will understand that the details were commercially sensitive, but following Hitachi's announcement I can set out in more candid terms the support that the government was willing to offer in support of the project.

"Across the world, a combination of factors including tighter safety regulations, have seen the cost of most new nuclear projects increase, as the cost of alternatives has fallen and the cost of construction has risen".

Japan's Hitachi Ltd 6501.T confirmed on Thursday it had frozen plans for a plant in Wales, while Toshiba Corp 6502.T scrapped its British NuGen project past year.

CECA director of external affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: "This is an extremely disappointing decision that throws doubts on the future energy security of the UK".

China's General Nuclear Services, an industrial partnership between China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) and French utility EDF, plans to make a number of investments in Britains nuclear power sector, most notably the Hinkley Point C project in southwest England.

"While the government has had its head up its proverbial backside over Brexit, vital matters like guaranteeing the country's future energy supply appear to have gone by the wayside".

"A clever move now would be for the government to accept that the nuclear bet didn't pay off, stop holding back renewables and have an urgent rethink about the future of UK energy", said Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK.

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Scrapping the United Kingdom plans is the latest move by the Tokyo-based manufacturer to shift away from the nuclear power industry, as it seeks to expand in higher growth sectors like power transmission and distribution.

Franco-Chinese project Hinkley Point C - Britain's first new nuclear power station in a generation - is now being built.

Once operational its power station sites will employ up to 850 people each with construction workforces of up to 9,000.

"The UK policy identifying the need for nuclear to play a role alongside renewables has been supported by numerous independent studies".

Whilst this is good news for consumers as we strive to reduce carbon emissions at the lowest cost, this positive trend has not been true when it comes to new nuclear.

Hitachi launched the three trillion yen project after acquiring Britain-based Horizon Nuclear Power in 2012.

"Hitachi's decision proves once again that there isn't an economic case for new nuclear, certainly not when renewables like offshore wind are cheaper sources of energy". It said it may sell off Horizon if necessary.

"There are very real concerns over how we will keep the lights on for industry and consumers in the coming decades".

Hitachi's departure is the latest knock to the government's ambitions to build six or more nuclear stations supplying 18 gigawatts of electricity, about a fifth of the current total generation capacity.

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