A damning news report in the Times reveals that the company building Britain’s first nuclear power station for 21 years has been ordered to shut down five reactors in France for emergency tests. This is on top of seven that are already closed because of safety concerns. Theresa May recently gave the go-ahead for a partnership project between the French energy firm EDF and China’s General Nuclear to construct two European pressurised reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The controversial move will supposedly cost a cool £18bn, but as the ongoing troubles with EDF reactors in France indicate, the real cost is likely to be much higher. Under the watch of EDF, fuel prices look set to rise still further. In the short term, this is because the UK imports French electricity during periods of high demand (usually in December and January). With twelve French reactors now closed for inspection, and with 80% of French electricity being produced through nuclear power, France is now faced with massive fuel shortages. Yesterday, French power prices reached their highest in four years. This crisis will undoubtedly have knock-on effects in the UK.
Evolve Politics 20th Oct 2016 read more »