The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is in broad support with the scathing criticism made by The Times newspaper in its editorial on the Hinkley Point C new nuclear project and wider UK energy policy. The Times editorial notes that the economics making nuclear power genuinely affordable has reduced from ‘slim to vanishing’ It notes that UK politicians tend to rely on civil servants for energy advice but in this case it is clear the technological challenges with new nuclear in comparison to the relative ease of developing renewable energy projects have moved much faster. The long-term costs of Hinkley represent a quintupling of power prices compared to other energy sources, particularly renewables. It sees Hinkley Point C as a ‘white elephant’ and is critical that no government minister had the courage to cancel the project when it was possible to do so, thus exposing taxpayers to a compensation claim as high as £22 billion if the government was to pull the plug on the project later on, as a report by the National Audit Office notes. This week reports are coming out that an EDF review of the project now sees it not being finally constructed until 2027 (rather than 2025 – let’s remember EDF UK Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said in 2007 it would be operating by the end of 2017) and its construction cost is likely to go up again from £18bn to over £20bn. Added to that are reports in France that the lid of the reactor pressure vessel on the proposed Flamanville new nuclear reactor site – identical to that being planned for Hinkley Point – may only be able to last for a few years, rather than the 40 – 60 year operation of a new nuclear reactor. For a year now the French nuclear regulator has been considering the safety of the Flamanville reactor, putting at risk the entire project.
Nuclear Free Local Authorities 28th June 2017 read more »
EDF has told investors it is still reviewing the costs and schedule of its Hinkley Point C power plant following press reports of cost overruns.
Burnham-on-sea.com 27th June 2017 read more »
Britain’s investment in the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant and its bias toward wind power over solar is wrong for the country, according to Britain’s largest closely held company. Hinkley is a “disaster” that’s “doomed to failure” because it’s using unproven technology on too large a scale, according to Tom Crotty, a director at chemical maker Ineos AG. The U.K. has also over-committed to wind power and should be investing more in solar energy, he said. Without a sound energy policy, the country risks falling behind other countries trying to develop low-carbon energy capacity. Big energy users such as Ineos also need stable policies when making their long-term investment plans. “The government has done quite a lot, let’s be clear, and we wouldn’t blame them for excitement over nuclear,” Crotty said in an interview in London. “We just think the strategy is totally wrong.”
Bloomberg 27th June 2017 read more »
Taxpayers’ money and government time is wasted by ministers backing the “wrong” infrastructure projects with a risk that poor decisions could lock in harmful effects on the economy, a think-tank has warned. The Institute for Government (IfG) said Britain “struggles” to make decisions on infrastructure and warned that the decision-making process risked the creation of “white elephants” that wasted public money and failed to deliver economic benefits. Describing it as a “serious problem”, the think-tank identified six reasons why Britain struggled to make decisions on infrastructure, including the lack of a national strategy for investment. The lack of an over-arching long-term vision was evident with the HS2 high-speed rail link, with its purpose shifting over time from cutting journey times to dealing with excess demand and regenerating the West Midlands, the report said. The think-tank said that Heathrow also demonstrated the use of “questionable” economic models to illustrate the benefits of such projects. As is also the case with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, “detailed future economic analysis, particularly for complex outcomes such as employment, investment and regeneration, is where governments traditionally struggle.” “Despite these concerns, successive governments have failed to communicate the inherent difficulties of modelling large projects with long-term payoffs, and continue to put more weight on these estimates than may be justified.” In other cases, ministers could fail to understand the risk involved in infrastructure investment with little contingency planning.
Energy Voice 29th June 2017 read more »
Detailed value for money assessment. Hinkley Point C will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in a generation. It will produce 3.2GW of clean and reliable electricity for 6 million homes. The documents published here detail the contractual obligations that government has entered into, including the analysis in the Value for Money assessment that allowed ministers to make the decision to proceed with the project.
BEIS 23rd June 2017 read more »