New nuclear power station plans for Oldbury-on-Severn are scrapped

September 16 2020
New nuclear power station plans for Oldbury-on-Severn are scrapped

PLANS to build a new nuclear power station at Oldbury-on-Severn have been cancelled.

Horizon Nuclear Power, the operator behind plans for two new reactors which could have provided enough electricity for 5.5 million homes, announced today the "orderly closing down of all its current development activities" at Oldbury and another site in North Wales.

Building a new plant at Shepperdine, near the site of the previous Oldbury power station (pictured above), would have created up to 9,000 jobs. Once operational, it was expected to have an estimated 850 permanent employees.

But development of the project was frozen in January last year amid funding problems.

And today parent company Hitachi announced that Horizon would be "ceasing its activities" to develop both the Oldbury and Wylfa Newydd power plants on Anglesey.

In a statement horizon said it would "take steps for the orderly closing down of all its current development activities, but will keep the lines of communication open with Government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both our sites".



An artists' impression of the planned nuclear power station at  Wylfa Newydd, which would have been similar to the Oldbury plant

Chief Executive Duncan Hawthorne said: “I understand this announcement will be disappointing for our many supporters who had hoped to see our project through to completion and I would personally like to thank you for your support throughout our time on this project.

In particular I would like to thank our lead host community of Anglesey in Wales, represented by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Welsh Government, and the key representatives around Oldbury.

Nuclear power has a critical role to play in helping tackle our energy needs, meeting our climate change targets and levelling up the economy through green growth and job creation.

Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury on Severn are highly desirable sites for new nuclear build. We will do our utmost to facilitate the prospects for development which will bring the major local, national and environmental benefits that nuclear can uniquely deliver as we push to transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2050.”

Plans to build a new reactor at Oldbury were first announced in 2009, when Horizon was owned by E.ON and German power firm RWE.

The government approved a new reactor on the site a year later but in 2012 – the same year the previous Magnox plant stopped generating after 44 years – the scheme was shelved. It was revived later that year, when Horizon was bought by Japanese firm Hitachi.