November 8, 2018 Read More →

Toshiba withdrawal kills major U.K. nuclear project

The Guardian:

Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project. Toshiba said it would take a 18.8bn Japanese yen (£125m) hit from closing its NuGeneration subsidiary, which had already been cut to a skeleton staff, after it failed to find a buyer for the scheme.

The decision represents a major blow to the government’s ambitions for new nuclear and leaves a huge hole in energy policy. The plant would have provided about 7% of UK electricity.

After a board meeting of Toshiba on Thursday, the company said it was winding up NuGeneration because of its inability to find a buyer and the ongoing costs it was incurring. The firm has already spent more than £400m on the project. “Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” the firm said in a statement.

Some industry watchers said the collapse of the scheme should be seen as an opportunity rather than a risk, for the UK to prioritise renewables instead.

Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the ECIU thinktank, said: “Shifting away from expensive, complicated technology towards cheaper and easier to build renewables gives the UK the opportunity to build an electricity system that will keep bills for homes and businesses down for years to come.”

More: U.K. nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out

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