Is Bechtel out of the Wylfa B nuclear project?
August 20, 2018

On August 17, the Asahi Shimbun ran an encouraging story saying that construction firm, Bechtel, had pulled out of the unpopular Wylfa B Hitachi nuclear power plant project on the north coast of Wales (planned project pictured above in an unrealistic diagram that fails to show the devastating destruction of the surrounding countryside that will include hilltop removal).

The article said the US firm had bailed due to the obvious unprofitability of the two-reactor project which is facing growing public and political opposition as well as resistance from nature conservation groups. The paper said Bechtel withdrew due to the fact that "the drastic rise in construction costs would make it hard to make money on the project."

However, the next day, Bechtel was quoted by a UK newspaper, The Daily Post, as saying the withdrawal story was "categorically untrue." Observers in the UK are skeptical of this denial given the reality of the financial mountain the project faces and the reputation of the Asahi Shimbun which, as UK activist Pete Roche observed, "does not usually make mistakes."

Beyond Nuclear will be watchdogging this story with our UK colleagues to get to the bottom of what is really going on. The UK government has been considering public financing, given that no corporations are willing to take the full financial risk of building an unneeded, expensive and slow nuclear white elephant.

Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (
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