A furious row has broken out after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) refused to disclose the arrangement with EDF for dealing with radioactive waste at the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. The information commissioner’s office has turned down a freedom of information (FoI) request for state aid arrangements between the UK and the European commission to be made public. The FoI complainant, David Lowry, has launched an appeal, claiming it is in the public interest for British citizens to be able to judge whether their government had made the right decision about the new reactors in Somerset. Lowry, a British-based senior research fellow with the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in the US, said: “I do not believe the balance of judgment should be in favour of a foreign company, EDF Energy, who will potentially make huge multibillion-pound financial gain from the continued non-disclosure, and hence non scrutiny, over myself as a British tax and electricity bill payer.” Under the new arrangements, the prospective nuclear operators must enter into a waste transfer contract (WTC). Those contracts, like the one covering Hinkley, must be submitted for scrutiny by the EC under its state aid rules. It is the pricing methodology of the WTC that Lowry wished to review and which remains under wraps.
Guardian 30th May 2016 read more »
Times 31st May 2016 read more »
The French government is weighing up a sale of its stake in Peugeot owner PSA Group to help fund a €3bn aid package for energy group EDF, which is building the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear project in the UK. People close to the situation have told the Financial Times that the state’s shareholding in the carmaker is a candidate for a sale or partial sale, as part of a wider review of the government’s corporate holdings. The government needs to raise billions after promising last month that it would provide three-quarters of the €4bn that EDF is seeking in a capital raising. It has already promised to participate in a €5bn capital raising for Areva, the troubled French nuclear reactor maker.
FT 25th May 2016 read more »