Supporters of the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station have launched a last-ditch push for approval as Theresa May, prime minister, nears a decision on whether to go ahead with the £18bn project. UK union leaders on Sunday called for an end to the “faffing” over a scheme they say is crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on, afterEDF, the French company planning to build the Somerset plant, sought to ease security concerns over Chinese involvement. The comments signalled a fight back against critics of Hinkley, whose arguments have appeared to be in the ascendancy since Mrs May ordered a review of the politically sensitive project last month. Justin Bowden, national secretary of the GMB, one of the UK’s largest unions, said it was “wishful thinking” to believe that alternatives such as wind and solar power could fill the gap if Hinkley was cancelled. Hinkley is likely to be discussed when Mrs May visits China for the G20 summit in Hangzhou next weekend, where she is expected to have a face-to-face meeting with her Chinese counterpart. The decision to put Hinkley on hold has been interpreted as a break from concerted UK efforts to woo Chinese investment when David Cameron was prime minister. Allies of EDF say they are cautiously optimistic that the debate is moving in their favour behind the scenes. One senior person in the nuclear industry said: “Many of those in government who were previously sceptical are now better informed of the reality and are realising that a lot of the claims on cost, China, and alternatives for meeting [electricity] demand without nuclear are exaggerated and spurious.”
FT 28th Aug 2016 read more »
BRITAIN WILL face power cuts unless it moves ahead with projects like the controversial new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, a senior union figure has warned. Justin Bowden, national officer at the GMB union, called on Theresa May to approve the building of Hinkley Point C after French energy firm EDF insisted it was still behind the proposal.
Yorkshire Post 28th Aug 2016 read more »
Theresa May is set to fly into a damaging row with her Chinese hosts at next week’s G20 summit after British officials threatened to unravel a deal on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. Downing Street wants to resolve the dispute over the £18 billion plant as soon as possible after the prime minister announced a surprise review last month. The power station would be built in Somerset by the French state company EDF and part-funded by China. Under one option being considered by No 10, Hinkley C would be given the go-ahead but approval for a Chinese-built reactor in Bradwell, Essex, would be put off to allow discussion over its implications for Britain’s security. However, Beijing is resisting any attempt to unpick a deal that gives it a chance to gain a foothold for its nuclear industry in Europe, The Times has learnt. One expert said that any attempt to break the link between the Chinese financing of Hinkley and the Essex reactor would “torpedo” the whole deal. With hopes of a compromise fading, Mrs May faces the prospect of meeting President Xi of China with the issue unresolved when she attends her first G20 Summit.
Times 29th Aug 2016 read more »
Vincent de Rivaz has called for £18bn nuclear project to be approved after it was delayed unexpectedly by Theresa May.
Guardian 28th Aug 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 29th Aug 2016 read more »
City AM 28th Aug 2016 read more »
Beijing will resist any compromise on the deal surrounding the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant project, ahead of an anticipated showdown between UK prime minister Theresa May and her Chinese hosts at the upcoming G20 summit. It follows a surprise review being called into the £18bn Somerset plant, which would be part-funded by China and built by French company EDF. Downing Street was looking to approve the project but delayed approval for a Chinese-built reactor in Bradwell, Essex as Number 10 seeks to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. A source told The Times that backing out of the Essex reactor would “torpedo” for Beijing the whole deal for all three sites as it seeks to gain a foothold for its nuclear industry in Europe.
IB Times 29th Aug 2016 read more »