The nuclear industry is launching a last-ditch appeal to ministers about the merits of the power source ahead of a decision on a crucial funding deal that could determine developers’ appetite. The Government is expected to decide soon on whether to push ahead with a new model to finance nuclear power plants, which aims to bring down the cost by passing some of the risk to consumers. French nuclear power developer EDF, which is building Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, argues the mechanism can help bring down the overall cost of its next proposed power plant, Sizewell C in Suffolk. This week, Dr Tim Stone, chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association and a former government adviser, will tell industry leaders that the Government and energy sector needs “credible plans” to grow the amount of energy generated from low carbon energy sources. The UK’s nuclear industry is at a critical juncture, with almost all of the current fleet of nuclear power stations set to retire this decade. Yet developers and governments increasingly balk at the cost of new nuclear plants, leaving EDF and its partner, China’s state-backed CGN, the only companies building new plants here. CGN’s involvement is controversial due to concerns about the Communist state’s growing influence and opposition from the US. Under the new financing model known as regulated asset base, investors get a steady return from the project even during the building phase.
Telegraph 26th Jan 2020 read more »