The principal reason that the French and later the South Koreans could continually lower construction costs of their nuclear fleets is that they picked one design, standardized it and built lots of them. What the UK is proposing is almost bespoke nuclear construction with six sites and four different plant designs–one of which, EDF’s, is already proving “difficult”. Think of it this way: more people can be clothed, per pound spent, at Marks & Spencer than at Savile Row. Well, maybe the cuts are different, but not the electricity. The Cameron government, despite its supposed faith in free markets, finds that it must provide extensive almost extraordinary guarantees for these nuclear projects. This will add to the government’s debt burden and commit electricity consumers to decades of high prices. For these and other reasons the government should be working on a Plan B.
Oil Price 2nd April 2016 read more »