EMMANUEL MACRON will have a grip on the UK’s renewable energy as a new nuclear power station being built in Britain will be “dependent” on French state-owned company EDF Energy. In November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined his “10 point plan” for a “green industrial revolution” which will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs. Number three on that list was researching “clean” nuclear energy and “developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors”. One way the Government hopes to achieve this is through the construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset – a nuclear power plant due to open in June 2026 which will cost as much as £23billion. It will feature in a new BBC documentary tonight – ‘Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station’ – which will go behind the scenes to capture the action at the construction site. France has been supplying electricity to the UK through an undersea cable since the Eighties, and EDF took a leap into the UK energy retail market in 1998 when it bought London Electricity. A decade later it paid £12.5billion for British Energy, the financially troubled owner of the country’s nuclear power fleet, including Hinkley Point C. EDF now produces about a fifth of the UK’s power and it has more capacity in Britain than in any market outside France. And it could be set to have more of a grip on Britain.
UK News Today 2nd June 2021 read more »
Express 2nd June 2021 read more »
This programme was so boring. How boring? Let’s put it this way. It dealt with a 130-metre-long boring machine that is boring three boreholes under the Bristol Channel’s Jurassic bedrock. It’s a machine even more boring than the one boring through the Chilterns to make the rail journey to or from Birmingham less boring. As if that were possible. The machine is so boring it doesn’t have a name, though if there were a public vote it would be called Borey McBoreface. First, we saw the boring machine arriving by barge then loaded on to trucks and driven under police escort through Somerset lanes. This sequence was so devoid of incident it resembled that four-hour BBC film of a sleigh ride across the tundra in real time. At least the tundra film had huskies. Director Mat Stimpson only had an answer to the question “Where did all the interchangeable male engineers in hi-vis gilets and hard hats go?” Actually that’s not fair: there was a female engineer, whom we saw checking that the ambient temperature didn’t rise too fast to make concrete set too quickly. Which wasn’t boring at all. Questions remain. Is nuclear power a solution to Britain’s looming energy gap? Where will the nuclear waste go? Can we send it with our recycling to Turkey, and if not why not? Are we happy that a Franco-Chinese collaboration has its fingers on Somerset’s foremost nuclear button? Will lockdown delay the project? Where does all that rubble go? Quantocks, you reply. There’s no need for that language.
Guardian 2nd June 2021 read more »
One cynical but reliable rule of thumb when reporting official statements is that the more often a fact is emphasised, the less likely it is to be true. The first time we were told on Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station (BBC2) that the new Hinkley Point C reactor will be able to withstand the impact of a plane crash, I was mildly reassured. After the third or fourth repetition, I was quite uneasy. And when the last 15 minutes of the opening episode in this two-parter were devoted to explaining exactly how marvellously plane-proof the design is, panic was setting in. For all the talk of double-skinned, nuclear-grade concrete and X-rayed metal seals, it was pretty obvious that one misplaced Airbus is all it takes, and Goodbye Somerset.
Daily Mail 3rd June 2021 read more »
Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station, review: why didn’t this film ask the real questions? It seemed a little odd for one local’s (admittedly very valid) complaints about traffic to be given more airtime than, say, worries over industrial espionage in a project part-funded by the Chinese state, or of ballooning budgets (from £18 billion to £22 billion). Two of its three intended predecessors in Finland and France remain on ice owing to “concerns over cost and quality”, a phrase both vague and serious enough to warrant further enquiry, yet any doubts were confined to the voiceover and not put to the people involved.
Telegraph 2nd June 2021 read more »
Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station, BBC2, review: A boys-and-their-toys view of a divisive build. Much of the programme is devoted to emphasising just how big the plant will be: we are shown a tunnelling machine so enormous it requires a police cavalcade; we are treated to front-row seats for the “largest continuous cement pour in the UK”; we learn that Hinkley’s canteens consume 316 tons of baked beans a year.
iNews 2nd June 2021 read more »