UK energy secretary says bill will give investors confidence

At the official announcement of the Hitachi acquisition of the Horizon nuclear project in London, questions were asked by assembled media about the suitability of a Japanese company following the Fukushima incident last year.

Energy secretary Ed Davey was also asked about the potential negative effect of not providing a subsidy for the sector.

He said that it was a tribute to the Japanese how well they had coped with what was a tragedy, but also pointed out the strength of nuclear regulation in the UK.

“We have a world-class regulatory regime. The lessons of Fukushima have been learned here and applied to the UK. In addition Hitachi’s reactor design is more advanced than the Fukushima model.”

Mr Davey pointed out, as had Hitachi chief Tatsuro Ishizuka, that the reactors Hitachi has built have all been on time, safely and within budget; something no other developer could boast.

Davey expressed the view that the energy bill would reassure investment.

“Although there will be no public subsidy for nuclear we will be introducing the Energy Bill to parliament, which will give the long term certainty needed by all nuclear energy investors”.

Hitachi’s plans include building between four and six 1300 MW plants- enough in total to power 14 million homes in the UK over the next 60 years.

“The build timetable is credible and even allowing for reactor design approval and all the necessary consents Wylfa B could be feeding the grid by the early 2020’s.”

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