Russian Rosatom Wylfa B Interest
by J Roberts
Rosatom Horizon Wylfa B Interest
The Russians are coming. Russia's state owned nuclear group Rosatom is understood to be interested in Horizon's Wylfa B new nuclear build project on Anglesey.
It has been reported on the company's own website that it was ready and willing to step into the shoes of RWE and E.ON and make an offer for Horizon Nuclear Power, the joint venture company between the two German energy firms.
Only a few weeks ago the two German utilities decided to pull out of new nuclear build in the UK, where they had hoped to construct two new power plants, one at Wylfa and the other in Oldbury near Gloucester
The two companies said financial considerations due to the global economic situation and the German government's strategic decision to phase out nuclear post-Fukushima were behind their decision.
Hopes remain that with Horizon Nuclear power on the market a byuer or consortium can be found to resucitate the project. Some speculation has emerged that a sovereign wealth fund could be interested in investing in what is in total up to around a £15bn energy infrastructure investment.
Head of Rosatom, Sergei Novkov, sees the UK market as "very attractive", according to RIA Novosti news in Russia.
A spokesman for Rosatom said the company would provide all the required assurances that any UK nuclear project it engages in would "meet all
safety and standard requirements of the IAEA" (the international nuclear watchdog).
While Horizon suggests it is still early days in terms of a possible sale to a third party, Rosatom's statement mentions that RWE and E.ON have close ties with Russia, having collaborated on projects with gas giant Gazprom.
Meanwhile the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change have said they would carefully consider any new entrant that could help advance new nuclear build in Britain.
Clearly with the legacy of Chernobyl still lingering in the background, attention will inevitably turn to matters of reactor design and safety of operation.
Chatham House nuclear expert Malcolm Grimston notes the Chernobyl reactor was specific to, and only ever used in, the former Soviet Union, the design having been rejected by the UK nuclear authority in teh 1970's.
Today Rosatom leads the field in world exports of nuclear reactors and has fourteen projects in progress globally. The company provides reactor solutions using what is called the 3+ Generation.
With the aftershock of Horizon's recent announcement still felt by the local community, the Energy island project
may yet see a revival with this expression of interest in new nuclear build in Britain, and specifically at Wylfa on Anglesey.
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here. It's as easy as 1-2-3!Photo by J Behera, Mumbai, India