I was very sorry to hear that Horizon Nuclear Power, which is based in my constituency, has decided to suspend its nuclear programme in the United Kingdom following a decision by its parent company, Hitachi.
I visited Hitachi in Tokyo a couple of years ago and was encouraged by the fact that they had taken over the project when the previous sponsors had pulled out, partly through political pressures in Germany. I have also been pleased to see the creation of around 350 jobs in my constituency through this project.
At a time when our government, along with many other governments, is determined to reduce carbon emissions, thereby creating opportunities for nuclear power, I am disappointed that Hitachi has taken this decision. One of the problems, of course, is the enormous start-up costs of nuclear projects and it seems that Hitachi are becoming concerned about the amount of risk which they would be exposed to.
The UK government had offered considerable help to Hitachi and Horizon in order to finesse this project and stand ready to continue to help.
I have spoken to the Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, and been in touch with the Secretary of State, Greg Clarke, as well as Horizon, and I, too, stand ready to help in any way I can,
My most immediate concern is for the jobs of the employees at the Horizon site at Brockworth. I will be visiting the company in the very near future and, again, am looking to help those employees in any way I can.