New nuclear power plants should be funded through general taxation instead of piling the costs on to consumers, a leading union has said. The GMB said that the government’s proposed regulated asset base funding model for further reactors was “acceptable”, but that the costs should be paid “from a progressive general taxation system”. Last week The Times reported leaked government analysis that up to 40 gigawatts of either nuclear power or carbon capture and storage plants was needed by 2050 to meet “net zero” emissions targets. That equates to 12 Hinkley Point plants. Under the regulated asset base model, developers would receive a regulated return while the plant was under construction, cutting their financing costs. It would still be funded on bills, exposing consumers to cost overruns.
Times 30th July 2019 read more »
All electricity consumers in Britain will pay a new UK nuclear tax, a levy on their bills to finance the construction of nuclear power plants under a scheme announced by the UK government. Called a Regulated Asset Base (RAB), but in reality a nuclear tax levied on electricity bills, the charge has no limits, so consumers will go on paying for any cost over-runs and delays, however long it takes to build a nuclear power station. The plan, launched by the UK Department for Business, is also to finance the as yet unproven technologies of carbon capture and storage. In both cases the consumer would be asked to pay for all the risks while the large nuclear companies got cheap finance for their projects. Under the government’s proposal, the taxpayer would also foot the bill if the schemes were ultimately scrapped. The nuclear industry, particularly EDF, the French government-owned utility, is delighted by the idea, because its power stations are so costly it can no longer afford to finance them itself. Getting the consumer to pay the costs up front will save billions of pounds in interest charges, and so the theory is that when the power station is finally up and running the electricity produced will be less expensive.
Climate News Network 29th July 2019 read more »