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: http://stophinkley.org/Newsletter/16AprNL.pdf
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: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/20/secret-hinkley-point-documents-set-for-hearing.
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: : http://stophinkley.org/1603Jo2JapEmb.htm
Stop Hinkley Members Activities
February and March has been a very busy time. Here are a few examples of what happened-: http://stophinkley.org/EventsReports.htm#2016FebMar
The Stop Hinkley AGM is on May 16th. Please let us know if you will be able to come firstname.lastname@example.org 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 459 099
Val Davey: email@example.com