EDF has told contractors at Hinkley Point to restart “unconstrained spending” in anticipation of the £18bn nuclear plant obtaining the final green light within days. The instructions to suppliers, reported by the industry magazine Building, comes despite EDF’s unwillingness to press the last investment button at a board meeting on Wednesday. The state-owned French group delayed the decision after last-minute pressure from its investors and unions over the cost of the scheme, but contractors in Somerset are being told to restart work, which stopped in April last year. A source told Building: “EDF used the words ‘unconstrained spending’ to the supply chain to get the project moving. By ‘unconstrained’ they mean ‘we’re going to go on as if a decision has been made’.”
Guardian 28th Jan 2016 read more »
Insider Media 29th Jan 2016 read more »
Contractors on the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant have been told to start spending money as client EDF says it will be releasing its budget imminently. Sources close to the project have told Building EDF has instructed suppliers on the Somerset power plant to restart “unconstrained spending” on the scheme, despite the fact a final investment decision has yet to be made. A source told Building: “EDF used the words ‘unconstrained spending’ to the supply chain to get the project moving. By ‘unconstrained’ they mean ‘we’re going to go on as if a decision has been made.’”
Building 28th Jan 2016 read more »
Caroline Lucas MP: EDF’s unfolding fiasco over the Hinkley C nuclear power station proves that nuclear power can come only at enormous financial cost to consumers and taxpayers, writes Caroline Lucas – and even then, investors are scared off by the risks. The government must get over its nuclear obsession and seize our renewable future. The concerns of French unions are worth a closer look. They include pending legal cases, the lack of evidence Hinkley can be built on time, and the partnership with the Chinese nuclear energy company when no other investors appear to be interested. Most telling of all is the following question: “what happens if the UK government decides to look after consumer interest?” This shows that the Conservative Government’s pro-nuclear policy flies in the face of everything they say about looking after the interests of consumers and billpayers. Indeed, studies show that solar power coupled with energy storage and smart grid technology could generate the equivalent to Hinkley Point C at half the cost – to the Government and to you and I. Wind power, even with backup, is cheaper than nuclear power too. The Government’s obsession with outdated, inflexible, expensive nuclear power stations is looking more economically and environmentally reckless by the day. So I’ve tabled some more urgent parliamentary questions on Hinkley.
Ecologist 28th Jan 2016 read more »
EDM 1019: That this House believes that the new delay on the plan for Hinkley Point C proves that the unaffordable, technologically-failed project is doomed; recognises that immediate cancellation would avoid the massive waste of multi-billions in cost over-runs and years of delays suffered by all other EPR projects; and urges new investments in the proven green technologies of renewable power sources.
Parliament 27th Jan 2016 read more »
The latest delays to the Hinkley Point C new nuclear plant could spell bad news for UK carbon budgets, Carbon Brief analysis shows. A final investment decision on the scheme, due to be the UK’s first new nuclear plant for a generation, has just been postponed by French energy firm EDF in the latest of many delays. Each year it fails to operate would add 10-11 million tonnes of CO2 to the UK’s emissions, assuming it is replaced by gas-fired generation. The UK is already expected to miss its carbon budgets for the mid-2020s. The emissions from a delay at Hinkley would increase this overshoot four-fold, Carbon Brief analysis shows. [The exact nature of the UK carbon budgets depends on accounting rules, see the footnote below. The UK is off-track whatever the measure
Carbon Brief 28th Jan 2016 read more »
It seems astonishing now but Hinkley Point’s French owner vowed that the new plant would be built and generating 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs by Christmas next year. EDF Energy’s UK boss, Vincent de Rivaz, made that promise in 2007, before the timetable slipped back first to 2019 and then to 2025. The last completed British nuclear station was Sizewell B in Suffolk, which opened in 1995, while older plants have stopped generating electricity or are preparing for decommissioning. Hinkley C is supposed to be the catalyst for a new fleet of reactors across the UK. The plant was delayed by EDF’s protracted negotiations with the government over what, in effect, amounts to state aid through a guaranteed minimum price paid for its electricity; legal hurdles at the European Union level, including a challenge from anti-nuclear Austria; and attempts to shore up the funding for the project by selling a one-third stake to the Chinese. Despite the problems, it was still a bit of a shock to see EDF’s board delay a meeting this week in which directors would have made what has been coined a “final investment decision” on the project. After all these years, EDF still doesn’t seem to be fully confident that billions of pounds of investment is worth the risk, and has delayed a decision for at least a month. Greenpeace’s executive director, John Sauven, is surely right when he says this proves the board is “rattled” –though I doubt he will get his wish that this “could well signal curtains for Hinkley”. I suspect it will still get the green light, and even if it doesn’t, the Government will plough on with building reactors elsewhere. Even if I’m wrong, Whitehall needs to prepare as though this is the case, given that cross-party policy for so long has been to bridge our yawning energy gap by building these stations. Maybe the whole plan collapses if EDF pulls out, maybe not. This is what makes a parliamentary answer to a question by Clive Lewis this month all the more curious. The shadow energy spokesman is a high-flying Corbynista who, after only eight months as an MP, is already joint-fifth favourite to be the next Labour leader. He found that the deployment of officers at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), both to protect sites and materials in transit, will fall from 1,113 this financial year to 931 by 2019-20.
Independent 29th Jan 2016 read more »
In 2007 Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF’s UK arm, made the now-infamous promise that by Christmas 2017 we would be cooking our turkeys using energy generated at Hinkley C nuclear power station. That has already been put back to well into the 2020s. But if you are making plans for Christmas 2025 it might be an idea to base them around eating cold turkey sandwiches by candlelight around a wind-up gramophone. Trouble is, who would want to invest in a gas-fired power station knowing the fickleness of energy policy? Commit to building one now and what guarantee is there that this or the next government might renew Ed Miliband’s pledge to close down all gas power stations, as well as coal power stations, by 2030?
Spectator 28th Jan 2016 read more »
EDF Energy is close to making the final investment decision that will start main construction work on Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, Europe’s biggest civil engineering project. West Country businesses are on the starting blocks, tensed and ready for the starter’s gun. But there have been some equally tense times along the way. The massive earth-moving machines on site at Hinkley Point may have been silent for the past few months, but there has been no let-up in activity at neighbouring Sedgemoor District Council as it prepares for its role as a host authority for the biggest construction project in Europe.
Western Daily Press 28th Jan 2016 read more »
Former Burnham MP Tess Munt attacks dirty costly nuclear.
Burnham-on-sea. com 29th Jan 2016 read more »