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Saturday 17 February 2018
17 February 2018 - NEWS UPDATE
Business

Hitachi announces plans for up to six new UK nuclear plants with creation of 12,000 jobs

Up to 12,000 jobs are to be created at Wylfa and Oldbury in Gloucestershire following the announcement that Hitachi is to build between four and six new nuclear plants in the UK. The announcement follows the Japanese technology firm's acquisition of Horizon Nuclear Power, the venture set up in 2009 by RWE and E.ON.

oldbury

The Oldbury nuclear plant in South Gloucestershire

Ministers welcomed the deal saying that will help the UK meet its energy security and carbon reduction goals, and bring a massive economic benefit.

In what it describes as the start of a 100 year commitment to the UK, Hitachi this morning confirmed that it intends to progress with Horizon Nuclear Power's plans to build between two and three new nuclear plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and the same at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

In total this new infrastructure could generate power equivalent to up to 14 million homes over 60 years.  The first plant could be feeding electricity into the grid in the first half of the 2020s.

Hitachi has also committed to develop the workforce in the vicinity of the build sites. Between 5,000 and 6,000 direct jobs at each site during the construction phase and a further 1,000 permanent jobs per site upon start of the operation of each site.

Hitachi says bout 60% of the value of the first plant is expected to be sourced from within the UK, more for subsequent units.  Rolls Royce and Babcock International have already signed Memorandums of Understanding with Hitachi, which also today confirmed it intends to establish a module assembly facility in the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I am determined that Britain competes and thrives in the global race for investment. This is a decades-long, multi-billion pound vote of confidence in the UK, that will contribute vital new infrastructure to power our economy.  It will support up to 12,000 jobs during construction and thousands more permanent highly skilled roles once the new power plants are operational, as well as stimulating exciting new industrial investments in the UK's nuclear supply chain.  I warmly welcome Hitachi as a major new player in the UK energy sector."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: "Hitachi bring with them decades of expertise, and are responsible for building some of the most advanced nuclear reactors on time and on budget, so I welcome their commitment to helping build a low carbon secure energy future for the UK.  I particularly welcome Hitachi's firm commitment to involve the UK supply chain and local workforce.

"New nuclear isn't only about keeping the lights on and emissions down, it's an industrial strategy with big potential wins.  The Nuclear Industry Council I'm announcing today will play a crucial role in this, and I believe there's the potential for the UK to become globally recognised as the go-to place for the next generation of nuclear."

Hitachi's plan to build Advanced Boiling Water Reactors will help to bring diversity of reactor design to the UK new nuclear programme.  The Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency will be asked to work with Hitachi to explore how to take forward the Generic Design Assessment of the reactor design to provide certainty that it is fit for use in the UK.

Ed Davey also today announced the creation of a new Nuclear Industry Council.  The Council will play a strategic role in helping ensure that the UK's nuclear industry can build on its strengths and develop the new capabilities needed to compete in a competitive global market.

The government said the move reflected the government's desire to build a strong industrial strategy in partnership with industry across a range of key sectors.  The Council will be chaired jointly by government and industry representatives, with Edward Davey (or Energy Minister John Hayes) and Business Minister Michael Fallon representing the government and Lord Hutton, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, leading the industry side.

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