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Back in March the German utility companies E.ON and RWE scrapped their plans to develop two new nuclear reactors in the UK, one at Wylfa in Wales and the other in Oldbury Gloucestershire, as part of the Horizon Nuclear Power project. This opened the door for other firms to enter bids to build the reactors.
Unfortunately the leading bid, from French nuclear engineering group Areva in collaboration with the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC), has been dropped. An Areva spokeswoman announced that “Areva and CGNPC have suspended their interest in the planned sale of Horizon Nuclear Power and did not submit a bid.”
The withdrawal of Areva’s Chinese-baked bid leaves the Horizon project looking vulnerable, with the only bids remaining being from a consortium of businesses led by the US nuclear engineering company Westinghouse, and another from Japan’s Hitachi, who are still waiting for the nuclear technology to be licensed for use in the UK.
The winning bid will be announced within the next few weeks, however if neither are successful, or they fail to proceed for financial reasons, then EDF, the French energy company, will remain as the UK’s main nuclear developer. EDF currently owns eight of the existing ten nuclear power plants in the UK, and are also in discussions with Chinese corporations to raise funding for installing more reactors in the UK.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com