Whitehall officials reviewing the massive Hinkley Point nuclear project are exploring how the UK might withdraw from the deal while minimising financial risk and damage to international relations, it has been claimed. Westminster sources told The Independent civil servants are looking to see if there is any loophole, clause or issue in contracts yet to be signed that allow the Government to pull back without huge loss and while also saving face. Ministers are acutely aware of the potential damage a withdrawal could do to relations with China, which is committed to pouring billions of pounds into the controversial project.
Independent 24th Aug 2016 read more »
Delays to the construction of the controversial new Hinkley Point nuclear power station will have little impact on engineering group Costain, according to its chief executive. The infrastructure business is providing pre-construction consultancy services to the power project in a contract worth several million pounds a month, but chief executive Andrew Wyllie saidthe hold-up in approving the multi-billion pound project would not affect his business. “When, or if, Hinkley goes ahead it will be a significant opportunity for us,” he said, speaking as the company unveiled interim results. He said Costain’s engineers are advising on the Somerset plant’s design, technology, logistics and supply chain.
Telegraph 24th Aug 2016 read more »
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been on the cards for more than 15 years to be built in Somerset, England by French state run EDF with the addition of Chinese capitals. The cost has been spiralling up and it stands now at around £29.7 billion. EDF has negotiated a guaranteed fixed price for electricity from Hinkley Point C of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices), although it is estimated that UK’s electricity cost around £45/MWh making it the most expensive new nuclear facilities to be built and run. A 2014 Agora Energiewende study found that new wind and solar generation is up to 50% cheaper than new nuclear and “UK government’s own projections expect onshore wind power and large-scale solar to cost less per megawatt hour than new nuclear by 2025. Theresa May’s government last month made a surprise decision to delay a deal on Hinkley, prompting a renewed look at what alternatives could power Britain if ministers this autumn fail to back new reactors in Somerset. An unpublished report by the energy department shows that it expects onshore wind power and large-scale solar to cost around £50-75 per megawatt hour of power generated in 2025. New nuclear is anticipated to be around £85-125/MWh, in line with the guaranteed price of £92.50/MWh that the government has offered Hinkley’s developer, EDF.” In the light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the problem of Nuclear Power Stations as terrorist targets (as findings in Belgium may suggest), the still unresolved problem of nuclear waste and the UK’s nervousness about having a People’s Republic of China’s Company with military links as a partner, apart from committing the British population to a permanent and rigid arrangement that is both bad value in terms of price and risk, it is important not just to delay but to scrap altogether this ludicrous project. The only “justifications” the British Government could find to go ahead with it would be the contracts already half-signed with some high profile supporters of the Tory Government and the link to Nuclear Weapons (as complex and tenuous as it might be).
Pressenza 23rd Aug 2016 read more »