A reported public financing deal between the UK and Japanese governments for a new nuclear plant in Anglesey, Wales, could set the UK government up to provide state-support for a raft of nuclear projects hit by financial difficulties. Antony Froggatt, a senior research fellow in energy at Chatham House, told Unearthed that the Conservatives were shifting their policy because new nuclear plants are unlikely to come online without significant state backing. “What we’re seeing, and this has been the case for the last 5-10 years, is that the Conservatives have gradually been salami slicing away at their pledge to allow the construction of new nuclear, provided that they ‘receive no public subsidy’,” he said. “There’s been a shift on this because nuclear can’t happen without significant government financial support.”
Ecowatch 22nd Jan 2018 read more »
Could we be about to see a wave of public money for new nuclear? The Japanese and UK governments refused to confirm or deny reports that both are considering investing in the Wylfa nuclear project.
Unearthed 22nd Jan 2018 read more »
Five tough choices for UK to keep the lights on. Keeping Britain supplied with electricity was once a relatively straightforward task. The country’s plentiful coal and, later, North Sea gas were plundered without much regard for environmental impact. But recent days have brought a reminder of the difficult choices facing ministers as they attempt to wean the country off fossil fuels while ensuring the lights stay on. A report from the Committee on Climate Change, which monitors the UK’s carbon reduction efforts, last week warned the UK was in danger of missing its climate targets in the 2020s and 30s unless the shift to clean technology accelerated. The UK has made faster progress than many countries in decarbonising its electricity supplies, just over half of which came from low-carbon renewables and nuclear last year. But that is still far from the government target for 85 per cent low-carbon power by 2032. All the options for reaching that goal involve trade offs between the often competing objectives for secure, affordable and low-carbon electricity. “There are quite a few important decisions which have been dragging for a long time and they are now becoming urgent,” says Tim Yeo, former Conservative environment minister. How his successors answer the following questions will go a long way to determining the shape of the UK energy landscape for decades to come. Should taxpayers’ money be used to build nuclear power plants? Construction is under way of Britain’s first nuclear power station since the 1990s at Hinkley Point in Somerset. But the hefty £20bn cost has spurred a rethink of how future reactors should be financed. Nuclear developers want access to cheap government-backed debt to lower capital costs. Horizon, the Hitachi subsidiary planning a nuclear plant at Wylfa in Anglesey, says it is confident of a financing deal with the UK and Japanese governments “in the near future”. Any agreement to inject public funds would reverse previous UK policy that nuclear construction was a matter for private investors. Critics warn against exposing taxpayers to the cost-overruns for which the nuclear sector is notorious, particularly when rival sources of low-carbon energy are getting cheaper. The government says nuclear has a “vital role” in decarbonisation and energy security. Four other questions are: How much more support should go to wind and solar? Should the UK back tidal power as a new low-carbon technology? Should fracking for shale gas be encouraged? Should small modular reactors and carbon capture and storage get funding?
FT 22nd Jan 2018 read more »
The devastation awaiting the river Ehen and the tiny village of Beckermet in West Cumbria has been graphically demonstrated courtesy of an EDF drone over Hinkley Point C in Somerset. George Monbiot the Guardian’s much hyped environmentalist has told Cumbria that the most dangerous thing we have to worry about it the sheep. He is WRONG, big time and this video footage showing the vicious carnage at Hinkley (where there were badgers, veteran trees, hedgerows, rolling fields and more) demonstrates just the tip of the nuclear iceberg.
Radiation Free Lakeland 22nd Jan 2018 read more »