Hinkley nuclear power station on track for 2026 opening? The UK’s newest nuclear power station is on track to open by the end of 2026, the company building it has said. Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been under construction by EDF Energy for five years. Nigel Cann, who is in charge of the project, told the BBC his team was “absolutely focussed” on switching the plant on within that timescale. Hinkley is the first nuclear power station to be financed entirely by two private companies. EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Group are both state-owned but the plant is still an experiment on a global scale, and its progress is being carefully watched. As usual, there are three questions. Will it be on time? On budget? And will it be good value when finished? The pandemic set the project back six months, partly due to slower working on site with social distancing measures, and partly because suppliers slowed down too. Now the construction is battling with big increases in costs of building supplies, and the UK’s wider problems with HGV drivers. When Hinkley was approved in 2016, EDF estimated the cost at £18bn. Today, the company puts the bill at nearer £23bn. So I asked, would it go up again?
“If it takes longer, it will cost more,” said Mr Cann. “We’re counting every penny, but the price to the consumer will never change, that’s the beauty of the fixed-price deal we signed back in 2016. “But the reality is our shareholders may have to invest more in the project as we move forward.” In 2016, the British government fixed that price at £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh). The price rises with inflation and has now reached £106/MWh.
BBC 29th Sept 2021 read more »
Today marks half a decade since EDF received the go ahead for its Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. In those five years, contractors working on UK’s biggest energy project have completed numerous feats of engineering, overcoming some huge challenges. These include record-breaking lifts, tunnelling progress and mammoth concrete pours. Some 3,600 British companies have now won contracts on the project and 22,000 people across the country are working on the Somerset power station. Hinkley Point C delivery director Nigel Cann told NCE there have been “lots of highlights” over the past five years.
New Civil Engineer 29th Sept 2021 read more »