More Hinkley C information


Hinkley Point C – The Story So Far

Every so often, it may help Stop Hinkley members to have a recap of where we’ve got to and how we’ve got there. I hope this helps to outline developments.

EdeF first proposed a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point over eight years ago. Not surprisingly, with the Department for Energy & Climate Change backing new nuclear, they obtained planning permission in 2013.

Since then, everything that could go wrong for EdeF has gone wrong. The European Pressurised Water Reactor chosen for the project has proven to be virtually unconstructable in China (Taishan), Finland (Olkiluoto) and France (Flamanville). Reactors there are years overdue and hugely over budget.

Despite agreeing a deal with DECC to supply electricity at £92.50 * per Megawatt, three times the current price, index linked and guaranteed for 35 years, the only other reluctant investors are Chinese. Reluctant because they are only interested in HPC as a lead in to building their own reactor at Bradwell in Essex. British investors have walked away from a deal that looks gold plated and the deal is the subject of a Legal Challenge by Austria to the EU. * Because the £92.50 is index linked it is already up to £99.00

In addition to funding Hinkley C, EdeF have to find 55 billion euros for post Fukushima improvements to their 58 nuclear reactors in France. Their financial situation is so grave that their Finance Director, Thomas Piquemal, resigned because he could not persuade his CEO, Vincent de Rivaz, that EdeF should drop HPC. This resignation followed that of the HPC Project Director to spend more time with his family in America.

EdeF has been reduced to pleading with the French Government, which owns 85% of the company, to find a way of funding Hinkley C so that it can make its Final Investment Decision (FID), something it has delayed than ten times over the last three years.

That Decision has to be approved by the Board of EdeF and it is now apparent that at least the Union members are likely to oppose going ahead with HPC. Even their own nuclear engineers are reported to have expressed doubts about the reactor design. Hardly surprising when the French nuclear safety regulator is unhappy about the steel used to construct the pressure vessel at Flamanville and is demanding further testing.

In the absence of the FID, nothing is happening on the site. EdeF have completed the site preparation work and removed most of the asbestos waste from the ‘A’ station which has been dumped on the HPC site. It would be amazing if EdeF could build HPC by 2025, even if they started now. Yet Amber Rudd, Secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change, now appears relaxed about keeping the lights on without HPC.

Stop Hinkley continues to monitor EdeF’s attempts to move forward, as they would call it. The good news is that the public seems increasingly aware that HPC would be very expensive to build, is an unproven design and would add to their electricity bill.

If the FID gives HPC the green light, Stop Hinkley will mobilise members to protest as we have before.

Stop Hinkley Newsletter April 2016

Download printable version:

Hinkley Point: Pressure grows at EDF

A board member at French energy firm EDF has said he will vote against its plan to build a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in the UK. Christian Taxil, who represents the CFE-CGC union on the board, said conditions were “not right” for the £18bn project.

Row over ‘secret’ Hinkley Point documents set to reach tribunal

An 18-month battle to discover the true cost to consumers of building the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors is to come to a climax in London. The information commissioner has been blocking freedom of information requests to publish subsidy documents held by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. However, it has finally agreed to hold an oral hearing on the issue. More:

Last month, Stop Hinkley member Jo Smoldon wrote to the Japanese government of her concerns about the ongoing disaster in Fukushima. We would encourage others to do the same. Please write to the Embassy of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT

Read Jo’s letter here: :

Stop Hinkley Members Activities

February and March has been a very busy time. Here are a few examples of what happened-:

The Stop Hinkley AGM is on May 16th. Please let us know if you will be able to come We look forward to seeing you then.

2015 figures show the growth of green energy in the UK

The latest government statistics revealed that a quarter of all our power needs came from British sunshine, wind and rain last year. It’s a testament to our world class renewable resources that clean, green generation is now a major player in UK energy.



Stop Hinkley meetings third Monday 18 April & AGM 16 May at 7pm. West Bow House, Milton Place Off West Street, Bridgwater


Press & Spokespersons: Pete Roche:
01749 860767 or 07821 378 210

Local Information: Allan Jeffery
01278 425451

Street Stalls:
Jo Smoldon:
01278 459 099

Val Davey:

Gremlins emerging in EDDC relocation plans

True to form, EDDC’s relocation project is not going entirely smoothly.

Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting (6 April) showed cracks already appearing, which the Leadership seemed to merrily paper over.

Long-term Exmouth councillors’ criticism of the planned design of their Town Hall renovation was treated with apparent amusement by Leader Paul Diviani and Chief Officers, Mark Williams and Richard Cohen.

Steve Gazzard (Lib Dem) said the proposed design was not flexible enough, a view echoed by his Tory counterparts, who complained of the “inadequacy of the space to be provided”, and were unhappy that “ all the memorabilia” has had to be taken down. They were also shocked at the possible prospect of having to book, or pay rent , for use of the Council Chamber.

Richard Cohen agreed that “Memorabilia is an issue”, and acknowledged the need for “an organised booking system”, and for what he called “the odd gremlin to be ironed out”. But he had no response to an exasperated Cllr Pauline Stott (Con, Exmouth), whose question showed that rather more than gremlins are involved.

It was proving very difficult, she said, to find alternative premises for staff obliged to move out so the Exmouth Town Hall renovation work could be done. (Estimated time 8-10 months, at a cost of £1m) .“How are YOU getting on with finding somewhere to move out to? I’m wondering if you have found somewhere to move out to?” she repeated.

The proposals for the Honiton newbuild office were criticised, too, with Cllr Peter Faithfull (Ind, Ottery) finding them seemingly “small and cramped”. We have no measurements..of what we are getting”, he said.

And Cllr Jill Elson (Con, Exmouth) was astonished that there was no staff café included in the Heathpark designs. Once again, this was treated as a joke, with Cllr Philip Skinner interjecting that there was always the nearby burger bar!

And Leader Paul Diviani’s remark that they were not using “stellar architects” for the new building, added no reassurance for those anticipating sound investment for public money.

More on that last point coming soon..

Who guards the LEP guards? Owl has the answer!

As part of the government’s assurance framework, each local enterprise partnership has a nominated local authority that acts as its accountable body, and

Somerset County Council

(the Council) is the accountable body for the Heart of the South West LEP.

Alternatively you may bring any matter concerning the LEP to the attention of the Somerset County Council’s external auditor.

For this Council, the appointed auditor is

Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The engagement lead for the audit is

Peter Barber
0117 305 7897.

For Local Authorities, some rules are in this government publication:

Accounting Officer Accountability System Statement for Local Government and for Fire and Rescue Authorities”

Click to access 150320_-_LG_and_Fire_Accountability_System_Statement_-_2015__final_.pdf

For the Local Growth Fund, this government publication covers some of the rules:

Accounting Officer: Accountability System Statement for the Local Growth Fund”

Click to access bis-15-183-Accountability-systems-statement.pdf

Should you as an elector wish to examine the accounts of ANY local authority, the National Audit Office has produced a very helpful guide abour your rights:

Council accounts: A guide to your rights

Click to access Council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights.pdf

Hinkley C: definitely maybe but then again, maybe not …

“Ségolène Royal ducks question of whether £18bn UK nuclear power development will be halted as discord over troubled venture continues at EDF”

The French energy minister, Ségolène Royal, has said that a postponement of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project was still under discussion.

In a French television interview on Thursday, she was asked whether Hinkley Point would be postponed.

“It’s still under discussion,” Royal replied. “There’s an agreement between France and Britain, so things should go ahead. But the trade unions are right to ask for the stakes to be re-examined.”

Asked if she was in favour of a postponement, Royal ducked the question and said she would not make rash comments.

However, the minister added that while she did not want to “decisively throw the project into question just like that”, there should be “further proof” that the £18bn venture was “well-founded” and would not affect investment in renewable energy.

Scrapping Hinkley for renewable alternatives would save ‘tens of billions’
EDF, the energy company controlled by the French government, has still not made a firm commitment to build the new nuclear power station. Its board is expected to make a final decision on the project at its next meeting on 11 May.

Last week an EDF board member called for Hinkley Point C to be postponed, in the latest sign of discord at the top of the French energy company over the troubled project.

Christian Taxil, an employee director, said a raft of changes to the Somerset reactor scheme agreed over the past three years significantly raised the risk for EDF.

The dissent follows weeks of behind the scenes bickering and the resignation last month of EDF finance director, Thomas Piquemal, despite continual promises from EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy that the controversial project will go ahead.

EDF has been hit by falling power prices, cost overruns on other projects, and demands to upgrade French nuclear reactors to make them safer. Its Paris-listed shares are down by almost 60% over the past 12 months.

The company is being compelled by the French government to buy the reactors division of Areva, which is also state-controlled.

Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology is slated to be used at Hinkley Point. However, the first power station to use it – which is being built in Finland – is running nine years behind schedule due to problems and cost overruns. The problems had left Areva virtually bankrupt after four years of losses.

Concerns about the EPR technology has also delayed EDF’s construction of another EPR reactor at Flamanville, on France’s west coast. Its budget has gone from €3bn to €10.5bn and it is running six years late.

Building two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley has been heavily backed by the UK government in order to keep the lights on in Britain. The last of the UK’s coal-fired power stations will be closed in 2025.

Simon Taylor, a specialist in nuclear financing and a lecturer at Cambridge University, said last month that the Hinkley project appeared to be “poor value for money” and it would be best if the French government abandoned it.

“It would preserve the rest of the nuclear options in the UK, as it would not cast any doubt on the UK’s underlying commitment,” he said. “But if the UK cancels the project it could jeopardise all the other projects in the pipeline.”