News August 2016

31 August 2016

Hinkley

Four of Britain’s major unions are big supporters of nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie – all because of the jobs. Now Labour’s shadow energy minister has joined them in backing Hinkley C – even though renewable energy is a far better job-creator than nuclear, and already employs three times more people. Although ill-informed leaders of a few large unions support nuclear for jobs reasons, many trade unionists do not. The excellent 2014 report A Million Climate Jobs by 24 energy …

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30 August 2016

Hinkley

A full month after the British government decided to review Chinese involvement in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project, the howls of outrage just won’t die down. Insisting any security concerns over Chinese involvement are groundless, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, warned Britain would be “foolish” to jeopardise its relations with Beijing by suspending the project. China’s ambassador to London declared the delay had brought bilateral relations between the two countries to “a crucial historical juncture” and called on …

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29 August 2016

Hinkley

Supporters of the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station have launched a last-ditch push for approval as Theresa May, prime minister, nears a decision on whether to go ahead with the £18bn project. UK union leaders on Sunday called for an end to the “faffing” over a scheme they say is crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on, afterEDF, the French company planning to build the Somerset plant, sought to ease security concerns over Chinese involvement. The comments signalled a fight …

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28 August 2016

Hinkley

Vincent de Rivaz: New nuclear has to be part of our low-carbon energy future. Detractors have filled many column inches and broadcast hours. However, some critics risk losing sight of the bigger picture by overlooking the positive impact and importance of this investment for Britain. China’s participation is much more than £6bn of inward investment. It brings the benefits of a 30-year partnership between EDF and CGN in nuclear construction in China, a country with the largest civil nuclear …

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27 August 2016

Hinkley

Case against Hinkley Point nuclear development gets stronger after yet another critical report. The more entertaining stuff is in director Richard Black’s blog. He describes Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation as: “A giant Godzilla that will either crush all before it or collapse under its own weight.” The latter is much the more likely outcome. But you can see his point.

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26 August 2016

Hinkley

Britain could save £1bn a year by pursuing cheaper alternatives to the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station, according to a report that says the Franco-Chinese project is not essential to keeping Britain’s lights on. As few as four big offshore wind farms could provide as much electricity as the 3.2 gigawatts expected from Hinkley, with additional gas-fired power and interconnectors with other countries also helping to fill the gap if the Somerset plant is scrapped. The findings from the …

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25 August 2016

Hinkley

Whitehall officials reviewing the massive Hinkley Point nuclear project are exploring how the UK might withdraw from the deal while minimising financial risk and damage to international relations, it has been claimed. Westminster sources told The Independent civil servants are looking to see if there is any loophole, clause or issue in contracts yet to be signed that allow the Government to pull back without huge loss and while also saving face. Ministers are acutely aware of the potential damage …

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24 August 2016

Hinkley

Dong Energy, the world’s leading developer of offshore wind energy, says it is ready to offer the UK more offshore wind power should prime minister Theresa May scrap construction of a nuclear plant. Although there is no suggestion yet that the nuclear plans might be scrapped, the programme was thrown into fresh uncertainty by the UK government’s recent announcement that it would “review” the project. “We would be able to further accelerate and expand the build out of offshore wind …

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23 August 2016

Hinkley

For a brief moment last month, it looked like the Somerset coast was destined to become the home of the most expensive object in the world — Hinkley Point nuclear plant. But after a last minute intervention by Prime Minister Theresa May, the government’s nuclear ambitions were suddenly put on hold. In the run up to the decision, Hinkley was almost unanimously condemned by the British press. So in case you missed it at the time, here’s a quick look …

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22 August 2016

Nuclear Industry

Theresa May revealed herself as an even more enthusiastic proselytiser for fracking than David Cameron. This seems so bizarre that it tells me one of two things: 1. She’s already decided against Hinkley Point, and is now so seriously worried about ‘the lights going out’ in the next decade that she’s ramping up the fracking hype to cover (notionally!) some of the gap in supply that opens up without Hinkley Point. 2. She’s as woefully ill-informed about energy policy …

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