Scientists for Global Responsibility Open Letter: We write on behalf of our membership of 750 scientists, engineers and others to welcome your decision to review the case for Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant (HPC). Our considered opinion is that the case against proceeding with HPC is very strong and the government should not sign the contract allowing construction to begin. Our opinion can be summarised by six main points, with key supporting information and references provided in the following pages: 1.The EPR technology is unproven and faces problems above and beyond those of other nuclear technologies; 2.The costs of the EPR are much higher than alternatives; 3.EDF’s financial position is too precarious for it to be relied upon to deliver the project; 4.There are alternative energy options which deserve higher priority, including energy conservation, infrastructure improvements and renewable energy; 5.The need for HPC to fill the role of a baseload plant is overstated; and 6.The security and environmental problems of nuclear power remain serious. Therefore we urge you to reject HPC and vigorously pursue alternative options.
SGR 6th Sept 2016 read more »
Ahead of a meeting between the prime minister and the Chinese Premier at this weekend’s G20 conference, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has written to Theresa May outlining why she believes Xi Jinping must be told that the UK government will not proceed with a new nuclear power station at Hinkley. In her letter to Theresa May, Molly identifies the huge costs of the project; safety issues associated with technical concerns over the proposed design; threats to energy security posed by the long delay in the construction of the Hinkley plant; and security concerns associated with handing over a national infrastructure to the Chinese government. Molly also draws attention to two ongoing legal challenges to the project, one from Austria and Luxemburg, appealing to the European Court of Justice over the Commission’s decision to grant state aid for the project; the other a further state aid challenge by a group of renewable energy companies in Germany. Molly has written to the European Commission questioning how Hinkley can proceed while these legal challenges are ongoing.
Molly Scott Cato 3rd Sept 2016 read more »
Xi Jinping has called for a deepening of “political mutual trust” with the UK amid a simmering row over Chinese involvement in Britain’s nuclear sector. In a 30-minute bilateral meeting on Monday afternoon, China’s president met with the British prime minister and, according to Chinese state media, told May that London and Beijing needed to “communicate and cooperate in various fields to achieve more stable and better development of their ties”. According to an account published by Xinhua, China’s official news agency, May “committed to actively deepening comprehensive strategic partnership and enhancing mutual understanding and trust”. Xinhua’s account of the meeting made no mention of the controversial £18bn ($23.5bn) Hinkley Point C project, which has threatened to derail the so-called “golden era” of UK-China ties since May delayed a final decision on its approval after taking office in July. UK sources said there was only an oblique reference to Hinkley Point C, the Chinese-backed nuclear project under review, and that Xi had told May he was willing to be patient about the government’s decisions in major projects. May’s decision to delay the project’s approval has been widely attributed to security concerns over Chinese involvement in sensitive sectors such as nuclear power.
Guardian 6th Sept 2016 read more »
Theresa May has said the UK’s relations with China are “about more than Hinkley” as speculation mounted that the Prime Minister could pull back from the symbolically important £18bn nuclear scheme. It has already emerged that security around the planned nuclear power initiative at Hinkley is an issue officials are reviewing, and that at least one senior member of Mrs May’s team has serious reservations about the project. At a G20 press conference, Mrs May said: “I’ve been clear that a decision about Hinkley will be taken later this month. But our relationship with China is about more than Hinkley, and if you look at the investment that there has been from China, in various other parts of the United Kingdom, other infrastructure and so forth in the UK, we have built a global strategic partnership with China.
Independent 5th Sept 2016 read more »
Theresa May will sit down with the Chinese delegation immediately after the G20 summit, to try to explain why security fears over Chinese finance behind the proposed EDF nuclear power plant, have led to her delaying the scheme. The meeting comes in the wake of news that the head of energy giant ScottishPower has waded into the row over Hinkley – telling the Daily Telegraph that the controversial subsidy deal for EDF’s proposed nuclear plant should be renegotiated because it is too expensive. Keith Anderson, the firm’s chief corporate officer, said the deal, provisionally agreed by the Government three years ago, no longer made sense in the light of lower gas and offshore wind costs.
Bristol Post 5th Sept 2016 read more »
The row over Hinkley has failed to pique the same interest—or concern—in China as it has in the UK. News coverage of Hinkley was relatively low in volume from the media. Commentators were, however, quick to make their feelings felt: in an opinion piece from Xinhua, the government’s mouthpiece, the author queried May’s “suspicious approach” towards Chinese investment in the project. Published only in English, the piece was clearly for British eyes. The accusations were more explicit than those from the ambassador. China “cannot tolerate any unwanted accusation against its sincere and benign willingness for win-win collaboration,” the piece read.
Prospect Magazine 6th Sept 2016 read more »