Japan’s Hitachi eyes relaunch of UK nuclear plant

The company’s Horizon Nuclear subsidiary said it was “continuing to engage with the UK government, and others, on securing the right conditions to support a potential restart for Wylfa Newydd” on Anglesey island off northwest Wales.

“It is too important an opportunity not to deliver, given the benefits it will bring both locally and nationally, and we remain committed to doing all we can to move this transformational project forward,” a spokesman said.

Hitachi froze the planned construction of two reactors at the site in January 2019, saying the project was not commercially viable.

The targeted production capacity was nearly three gigawatts or some six percent of Britain’s electricity needs.

Contacts with the UK government have intensified recently after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Hitachi is awaiting the publication of the government’s latest energy strategy in the coming months, which could include new financing models for the nuclear industry.

The company is expected to make a final decision after that.

The Japanese firm’s reassertion of interest comes as ties between London and Beijing are strained over the involvement of Chinese telecoms provider Huawei in Britain’s 5G network.

Lawmakers are now asking questions about China’s China General Nuclear Power (CGN) in several projects, including the development with France’s EDF of two new reactors at Hinkley Point.

Hinkley Point, in Somerset, western England, is currently the only nuclear project under construction.

Britain’s nuclear power plants built in the last century have either closed or are coming to the end of their lifespan.

The government wants to maintain the 20 percent of electricity it gets from the nuclear sector, particularly with its aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Agence France-Presse

Advocacy group calls out ERC on Meralco’s rate extension

The National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms Inc. (Nasecore) has criticized the Energy Regulatory Commission for permitting bilyonaryo Manny Pangilinan-led Manila Electric Company to charge consumers the provisional interim average rate of P1.3810 per kilowatt hour from July 2016 to the present.