Hinkley Point delays mean projects such as Bradwell in Essex should be fast-tracked, says former energy select committee chair. Ministers need to talk to the Chinese about fast-tracking the planned reactor at Bradwell in Essex because the future of the £18bn Hinkley Point project is so uncertain, according to a leading pro-nuclear campaigner. Tim Yeo, a former chair of the energy and climate change committee, said the government should also consider whether the Russian state operator, Rosatom, or the British state could build new atomic plants. The Hinkley project in Somerset has been hit by a series of delays, with its developer, EDF, recently postponing a final investment decision until September. Yeo said continuing opposition from EDF unions to spending huge sums of money in Britain and political uncertainty ahead of the French elections next spring could hold up the project further. Yeo, who was deselected as an MP at the 2015 general election, said the government needed to see whether it was possible to speed up other nuclear projects in the pipeline, such as China’s Bradwell scheme and the Horizon consortium project at Wylfa on Anglesey. The former Conservative MP suggested that talks could take place with the Korean industry, which is building in the United Arab Emirates, and Rosatom, which is constructing a new plant in Finland and has new, proven reactor technology up and running in Russia. Yeo acknowledged that unions and others have expressed concern about the plan by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) to use its own reactor technology at Bradwell. CGN’s involvement with EDF at Hinkley has been less controversial because the scheme is to use a European pressurised water reactor (EPR).
Guardian 19th June 2016 read more »