Bosses at Copeland council say they want to further interrogate the Government’s proposed model to fund new nuclear power developments before pledging their support. Steven Morgan sounded a word of caution after the authority’s Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board, which he chairs, was asked to “support the principles” of the Government developing the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model as a way to fund large power stations and support for the development of smaller and less expensive equivalents. Mr Morgan also raised concerns that the model – which is intended to make it easier to attract private sector investment in new nuclear power stations – could see a hike in electricity bills for consumers. Last month the Government began a four-month consultation on creating a RAB model for nuclear. It followed a year-long review by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy after it was first floated as a way to support NuGen’s plans for Moorside. Its introduction mid negotiation between NuGen owners Toshiba and Korean utility Kepco, appeared to cause delays which eventually led to the scrapping of the £15 billion project. The model – which has already been used in the UK to finance electricity, gas, telecoms and transport infrastructure – sees a regulator set a fixed sum for the cost of a project along with a fix return for the project’s investors, paid for by the consumer. But councillors said this could see taxpayers or ratepayers stumping up the cash for a new nuclear power station up to 15 years before it is built – and which, it was feared, might never be built.
In Cumbria 27th Aug 2019 read more »