Chancellor George Osborne says he believes the French government, which owns the energy firm EDF, is committed to building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. He was responding to MPs’ questions after reports that the project, on the Somerset coast, could be further delayed due to financial and technical concerns. On Monday the Financial Times reported that the final approval for the long-awaited Hinkley Point nuclear reactor in Somerset could be delayed by up to a year. The French energy firm EDF has yet to make a final announcement on whether it will go ahead with the £18billion project, despite securing investment from China last year. The decision could now be made in 2017, with reports that EDF are looking for more investors to help take on the debt.
ITV News 1st March 2016 read more »
Burham-on-sea.com 2nd Mar 2016 read more »
A FRENCH union – which has two seats on the board of EDF – has called for a decision over the development of Hinkley Point C to be delayed until 2019, saying the scheme is “too risky”. The CFE-CGC Energy Union, which occupies two of six union seats on the board, said investment in the Somerset plant should be held until problems with a similar reactor design in France are solved.
Somerset County Gazette 1st Mar 2016 read more »
The news that there is to be a further delay to the long-promised Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset should come as no surprise to those who have followed the saga over the last eight years. As the FT report on Monday confirmed, the board of EDF wishes to delay the project for another year . That could easily turn into two years or three or more because it depends on the resolution of the deep problems at Flamanville in France, where a similar reactor is being built, and on the company’s financial health, which is fragile. The EDF board is right to seek a delay. It is the only rational decision for EDF as a company and in reality for the UK. Whatever the embarrassment involved it is impossible to proceed with a project where the risks and ultimate costs are unknown. The resistance to the project from managers and staff within EDF is very telling. The UK government must accept that Hinkley will not be built for the foreseeable future. But what comes next? There should be no panic reaction. This is not the moment to write off nuclear, or to rush into even more expensive solutions. The important thing is to step back and learn the lessons of what has gone wrong and put together a rather different future. That applies to the UK government as it comes up with a new energy policy but also to EDF, which needs to reinvent itself and rebuild its once strong reputation for technical excellence. There should be a full and open inquiry into the process of negotiation which left British consumers with the prospect of paying ridiculously high prices for a technology that has never worked. The report must expose the reasons for the increase in costs above the early promises made in 2008 and 2009. The problems of Hinkley give both the UK government (and in a very different way EDF) the chance to start again and to design a more rational policy in which the choices are made openly rathe r than in secret. That is a lot to hope for, but it is not impossible.
FT 1st Mar 2016 read more »
Only the most wild-eyed optimist would be reassured by EDF’s claim that construction of the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point “is on the horizon for 2019”. After all, less than a decade ago the company assured us that the same plant would be generating electricity by next year. Now we learn finance is still not in place to begin building work in three years’ time.But as City A.M. recognised, the real culprit of this sorry story of wishful thinking and delay is not so much the companies involved as successive governments who have failed to take the decisions needed for the country’s long-term future. And it is not just over nuclear energy that politicians have ignored the national interest.
City AM 2nd Mar 2016 read more »