Hinkley Point C, the over-budget and delayed 3,200 megawatt (MW) nuclear power project in Somerset, may never enter commercial operation—and the U.K. government needs to either be planning now for that possibility or risk being left holding the bag for a half-built, multibillion-pound white elephant. Britain has signed on to buy power from the facility at a generous £92.50 per megawatt-hour, and sees it as a major piece of its climate change mitigation and energy security plans. Further, EDF (Électricité de France), the French state-owned utility building the plant, swears that all is good, with outgoing CEO Vincent de Rivaz telling The Guardian in July that there was “absolutely, definitely, totally” no chance that ratepayers would be required to pay any more for future delays and/or cost overruns. But the similarities between Hinkley, which is now finally under construction after years of delay, and other troubled European and U.S. projects, particularly the recently shelved V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina, cannot be ignored.
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