Any lingering hope that a worldwide nuclear power renaissance would contribute to combating climate change appears to have been dashed by US company Westinghouse, the largest provider of nuclear technology in the world, filing for bankruptcy, and the severe financial difficulties of its Japanese parent company, Toshiba. After months of waiting, Toshiba still could not get its auditors to agree to its accounts this week. But it went ahead anyway and reported losses of nearly $5 billion for the eight months from April to December, in order to avoid being de-listed from the Japanese stock exchange. The company admitted it too could face bankruptcy, and is attempting to raise capital by selling viable parts of its business. In a statement, it said: “There are material events and conditions that raise substantial doubt about the company‘s ability to continue as a going concern.” The other nuclear giant present in Britain, the French-owned Électricité de France (EDF), is in serious difficulties of its own. It is already deep in debt and its flagship project to build a prototype 1,600 megawatt reactor at Flamanville in northern France is six years behind schedule and three times over budget at €10.5 billion.
Climate News Network 14th April 2017 read more »
On Wednesday 12th March, EDF announced that it is to increase its electricity prices for the second time this year, bringing total rise in 2017 to nearly 20%, more whopping than any of the other Big Six suppliers. EDF’s price rise will affect 1.5 million UK energy users. Huge price rises are clear early indication that the taxpayer will be forced to bail out corporate nuclear energy builders. Chaos of current EDF nuclear building projects, combined with financial crisis in America and spiralling nuclear decommissioning costs, shows Hinkley Point as a financial basket case and a disaster for both the UK taxpayer and energy users. EDF’s current projects also give cause for grave concern.The Flamanville nuclear site in France is three times over budget (initial estimate of €3bn Euros is now €9bn) and seven years behind schedule. In Finland, meanwhile, the Olilhoto site is €5.2bn (Euros) over budget and nine years behind schedule. To make the financial case for UK nuclear projects even grimmer, it has also emerged this week that Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse Electric are on the brink of bankruptcy. The UK’s prospects for a planned new nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria, behind which Toshiba is a key financial player, have been diminished.
Paul Flynn MP 13th April 2017 read more »