David Cameron and François Hollande threw their weight behind plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset yesterday as officials scrambled to dispel growing scepticism over the project. In a statement, the British and French leaders described Hinkley as a “major strategic project” and a “pillar of the bilateral relationship” that would be a key aspect of British energy policy. Their support comes at a critical juncture for the badly delayed nuclear station amid growing doubts about how EDF, the cash-strapped state-owned French energy giant, will finance it. The statement, issued after a summit between the two leaders in Amiens, said EDF was “devoted to prepare all necessary elements” to commit to a “final investment decision in the near future”. EDF is examining a variety of financing options, including reducing its stake and selling a stake in RTE, the French high voltage electricity grid, to help bankroll Hinkley, as well as a string of other investments in the French nuclear and renewable energy industries. There are plans to start generating power in 2025 but analysts believe this could slip further unless a final investment decision is made promptly.
Times 4th March 2016 read more »
The Government has been urged to draw up a Plan B in case a new nuclear power station planned at Hinkley Point is never built, according to Labour. Shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy said the future of nuclear power in this country could not just be about the new plant due to be built in Somerset by French energy giant EDF. A communique issued after a Franco-British summit on Thursday attended by Prime Ministers of the two countries said: “France and the United Kingdom welcome the major progress made in recent months with a view to confirming the project to build two EPR reactors on the Hinkley Point site. Ms Nandy will tell a meeting of the Women in Nuclear organisation that there should be cheaper ways of building nuclear power stations in the future. “French, Chinese, American, Canadian and Japanese companies are racing ahead with new nuclear designs, including Molten Salt Reactors, Heavy Water Reactors, and Fast Reactors. With our proud history of successful nuclear research, and gold standard regulatory system, Britain must not now fall behind. Some of these new reactor designs even hold the potential to turn Britain’s nuclear waste stockpile into fuel, to reduce the risks of proliferation, and to cut costs.”
Somerset County Gazette 4th March 2016 read more »
Western Daily Press 4th March 2016 read more »
Lisa Nandy will today call for the construction of more nuclear power stations. The Labour frontbencher will highlight her apparent differences on energy provision with Jeremy Corbyn. Nandy, shadow Energy Secretary, is known for her pro-nuclear views – a stance rejected by Corbyn in the summer leadership campaign. Nandy is expected to propose new nuclear power stations to meet the UK’s energy needs and climate change obligations: “Delivering on the Paris Agreement will demand that we deliver nuclear power stations as part of a mix of gas and low-carbon technologies. “The former director of NASA, Professor James Hansen, put it: ‘Nuclear will make the difference between the world missing crucial climate targets or achieving them.’ So I believe it would be wrong to take such a major carbon-free energy solution off the table.” Jeremy Corbyn came out against “new nuclear” power in his Protecting Our Planet policy document from the leadership contest saying “new nuclear power will mean the continued production of dangerous nuclear waste and an increased risk from radioactive accident and nuclear proliferation.”
Labour List 4th March 2016 read more »
The U.K. should consider a range of new nuclear technology because “the future of nuclear in Britain cannot just be about Hinkley Point C,” the long-delayed project by Electricite de France SA, the opposition Labour Party will argue on Friday. “Beyond Hinkley there are an array of opportunities in other nuclear technologies,” Lisa Nandy, the shadow energy secretary, is due to tell a Women in Nuclear meeting at the National Nuclear Laboratory in Warrington, northern England, according to remarks e-mailed by her office. “French, Chinese, American, Canadian and Japanese companies are racing ahead with new nuclear designs, including molten salt reactors, heavy water reactors and fast reactors.”
Bloomberg 4th March 2016 read more »
Franco-British Summit 3rd March Statement issued by UK and French Governments: Firmly committed to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, France and the United Kingdom restate the crucial role of nuclear energy in the transition to a low-carbon economy as part of an energy diversification policy. France and the United Kingdom are convinced that civil nuclear energy helps to guarantee their long-term energy independence and contributes to their economic growth and the competitiveness of their industries. They will ensure highest standards of safety, security and safeguards are respected. They reaffirm their firm shared will to combat nuclear proliferation, and will ensure long-term management of radioactive waste, as well as environmental protection. France and the United Kingdom welcome the major progress made in recent months with a view to confirming the project to build two EPR reactors on the Hinkley Point site. The signing of a framework agreement between EDF and China General Nuclear (CGN) on 21 October 2015 and the State aid approval by the European Commission of the methodology underpinning the waste transfer contract between EDF Energy and the British Government represent significant milestones. Following an in-depth internal review, the project’s organization has been fine-tuned to guarantee control of the main operational risks inherent to such a large project. EDF is currently devoted to prepare all necessary elements for the announcement of a FID for Hinkley Point C in the near future, with the full support of the French government.
EDF Energy 3rd March 2016 read more »