Liberal Democrats in Somerset have come out firmly against the planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Somerset County Council, spoke at the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference in Brighton in favour of the motion opposing the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Somerset. But despite attacking the decision she agreed the Lib Dems in Somerset would “work with” the decision in the event of their taking control of the county council at the elections next May.
Somerset Live 21st Sept 2016 read more »
British companies are lining up bids for contracts worth up to £11.5 billion after the government’s decision to press ahead with construction of EDF’s new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Up to 64 per cent of the project’s £18 billion value will be open to UK companies, according to David Eccles, EDF’s head of stakeholder engagement for the Hinkley Point C project. Speaking at a nuclear suppliers’ conference in Bristol yesterday, Mr Eccles said many of the work packages were being brought forward for tender after the decision to proceed. Some key reactor components, such as steam generators, will be made by Areva, the French state-controlled reactor developer, he said. Other big contractors have been selected, such as GE, which will build turbines. However, hundreds of British companies are expected to play a role in the rest of the supply chain for the project, which was given final approval by Theresa May last week. They range from big construction companies such as Costain, Laing O’Rourke and Amec Foster Wheeler to specialist suppliers of products ranging from concrete, nuclear valves, cabling and pipes to sandwiches and bus transport services for staff. Preliminary work at the site, where two new reactors are planned, is under way. Three contractors have been selected by EDF to excavate the site to 15 metres, dig tunnels for the reactor’s cooling water and build a jetty to ship in large components and materials. The shortage of skills will be particularly acute if Hinkley Point is followed by other new reactor schemes at Sizewell in Suffolk, Moorside in Cumbria, Wylfa in Anglesey and Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex. One industry estimate claims that the UK could face a shortfall of 60,000 people with nuclear expertise by 2025 unless efforts to train industry recruits is intensified. The average age of workers in Britain’s nuclear industry is 56.
Times 21st Sept 2016 read more »
The British Government’s decision to back Hinkley C nuclear power station is another success for the snake oil salesmen of a defunct technology that sends completely the wrong message. There is still a chance that May could be playing a double bluff: in her wish not to offend the Chinese she has greenlighted the project even though she knows it is an awful bet (she can’t be so blinkered that she doesn’t know this, can she?) hoping that some other factor – technical, financial, legal – there are a few in the pipeline – will prevent it ever being built, thereby exonerating her from possible future blame by the Chinese. There’s a chance, but it’s a slim one. I wouldn’t bet on it if I were a gambler. The whole thing is a farce, but it’s more than that, it’s a parody of a farce that is still a farce. A post-post-modern farce. Grotesque, and embittered with the self-hypnotised reflection of irony in love with itself. Meanwhile, if you have a spare hour, watch the video below which shows how, by the time Hinkley C is built, technological disruptions in the fields of energy storage, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, solar power and computing will mean there will be absolutely no market for its over-expensive electricity. It will be old. Out of date. Unnecessary. But still producing nuclear waste we cannot yet render safe.
Low Carbon Brief 20th Sept 2016 read more »
In short, the Hinkley decision is a piece of catastrophic energy policy stupidity. It’s not merely bad, it’s dreadful. It’s a many-layered onion of dreadfulness, which I will now attempt to unwrap. The deal isn’t just bad, it’s ludicrous. As followers of Exponential Investor will know, we’re entering an era of rapidly-falling energy prices. This is due to technological advancements in renewable energy – notably solar. While renewables are dropping in price rapidly, and increasing in sophistication, Hinkley locks in a technology that’s fundamentally outdated. The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) is a variant of decades-old technology, dusted off for a new era. The specific EPR design concept has never been deployed successfully in its current form anywhere in the world, despite several attempts.
Exponential Investor 20th Sept 2016 read more »
China hails Britain’s approval of the Hinkley Point nuclear project and hopes the project will go well, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday night. Wang made the remarks during his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the sidelines of a series of UN General Assembly high-level events. Wang said that China-Britain relations have maintained a good momentum of development and the two countries have seen fruitful cooperation in various fields.
Xinhua 20th Sept 2016 read more »
Petition: The decision to accept the investment from EDF and China to design, build and operate the first new (as yet untested) nuclear power stations in a generation must be made only with the consent of parliament.
UK Petitions 20th Sept 2016 read more »
The decision to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is a disaster for safety, the environment and workers’ living standards. The government agreed the joint venture with French and Chinese state-owned firms this week, after previously postponing the decision. Unions gushed with congratulations. Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said, “Today’s historic decision is very welcome. Our members are shovel ready and dead keen to start work.” His counterpart at GMB Justin Bowden said, “This is the right decision for the country and the government is right to ignore the begrudgers and naysayers.” Labour has tried to have its cake and eat it, with shadow energy minister Barry Gardiner arguing the project is “vital” but its “extraordinary” price tag unacceptable.
Socialist Worker 16th Sept 2016 read more »