Paris Court Ruling on Hinkley Point C Risks

A court in Paris has ordered French utility EDF to release a risk analysis report to the group’s works council (CEE) concerning its Hinkley Point C nuclear project. The appeals court in Paris said the firm must communicate the report within a month and must consult the CEE regarding the project within two months.

In 2016, EDF refused to release all documents required by the council for it to be able to issue its advice on the project, triggering CEE’s legal action. (1) The CEE say EDF failure to give elected representatives of the staff objective, precise and complete information on the technical and financial issues raised by the Hinkley project meant they had not been able “to give a reasoned opinion on this project“. (2)

Commenting on the news, Steve Thomas Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy at Greenwich University and author of ‘Time to Cancel Hinkley?’ (3) said:

Some senior EDF management and some EDF trade unions have long been concerned about EDF’s participation in the Hinkley Point C project. The 3-year old report the EDF Central Works Council (CCE) has won access to will show that EDF is well aware of these risks. The continuing delays and cost overruns (more than 3 times over budget and 8 years late) at Hinkley’s reference plant, Flamanville, significantly worse than when the report was written, illustrate graphically the scale of the risk. The Works Council see Hinkley as a financially risky project that will divert EDF’s scarce finances away from the strategically more important task of upgrading and life-extending EDF’s fleet of 58 reactors, many of which are at or near the end of the 40-year design life.”

Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Roy Pumfrey says:

Even the long standing nuclear advocate, former International Energy Agency boss, Nobuaki Tanaka, says nuclear power can’t compete with renewables. He says it’s ‘ridiculously expensive’ and ‘utterly uncompetitive’ (4) Electricity consumers would almost certainly still be able to make savings if the project were halted now and the south-west were given the chance to develop sustainable energy industries. Full construction start is still a year or more away so not too late to stop it.

(1) Montel 12th Sept 2018 https://www.montelnews.com/en/story/court-orders-edf-to-release-hinkley-point-risk-report/934183 and L’usine nouvelle 12th Sept 2018 https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/edf-devra-a-nouveau-consulter-le-cce-sur-hinkley-point.N740494

(2) CEE Press Release 12th Sept 2018 http://public.cceedfsa.fr/_docs/actus/Fichier-81-1.pdf

(3) See http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Time-to-Cancel-HinkleyFinal.pdf

(4) Asahi Shimbun 24th July 2018 http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201807240045.html

 

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Published: 18 September 2018