The future of Britain’s nuclear power is at risk, with one of the three groups looking to build the next generation of reactors on the brink of splitting up.
RWE, which owns npower, is in talks with partner E.ON about the future of its involvement in their joint project to open a reactor by 2020.
According to people familiar with the situation, RWE is looking for a way to pull out of the Horizon Nuclear Power scheme.
Last month another of the UK’s nuclear projects, NuGeneration, saw one of its consortium members drop out for f inancial reasons. SSE, which specialises in renewable development, left partners GDF Suez and Iberdrola to buy back its 25 per cent stake.
The third group vying to build a nuclear reactor – EDF, combined with British Energy – has begun developing its site at Hinkley Point, Somerset, with the potential to build at four more locations.
Britain currently gets a fifth of its energy from its ten nuclear power stations, of which five are due to close in the next decade.
A report on the implications of the Fukushima disaster on British reactors is due to be presented in Parliament next week by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.
A spokesman for E.ON said: ‘Our plans for Horizon remain the same and we are committed to the project.’ An npower spokesman refused to comment.
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