Nuclear power keeps taking head punches from the hard-hitting marketplace. On January 17, Japan’s Hitachi Corporation halted work on a $19.3 billion nuclear power project called Wylfa in North Wales. Hitachi also cancelled nuclear reactor plans in Oldbury in Gloucestershire, England and Toshiba scrubbed its reactor construction at Moorside in Cumbria, England. The British press noted that “renewable alternatives are increasingly being viewed as cheaper, less risky, and more economic,” while Greg Clark, England’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, told the New York Times, “The economics of the energy market have changed significantly…” with the price of renewables going down and that of nuclear power going up. According to reports, Clark considered offering taxpayer support to Hitachi for one-third of the project’s equity financing and all of its construction debt, but the company wanted more. Private investors were put off by the project’s 10-year wait for a dividend and the risks of cost overruns. Hitachi will reportedly take a $2.75 billion loss in cancelling the Wylfa reactor. The company purchased the construction site for $900 million, but spent about $2.6 billion on design permits, staff, and job training. —London Daily Telegraph, Jan. 24; New York Times, Jan. 18, 2019
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