French union refuses to back Hinkley C

A French trade union said it would not back construction of the $26 billion, dual-unit Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the UK due to financial issues.

The union, Confédération française de l’encadrement-Confédération générale des cadres (CFE-CGC), said plant owner EDF’s financial woes and environmentalist opposition could end the project, according to several news reports.

EDF’s chiefs in both France and the UK, as well as the French and UK governments, have all backed the project to build two European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) to generate 3,200-MW of electricity.

Chinese nuclear company CGN has committed to fund one-third of Hinkley Point C. EDF planned to have a final investment decision on the project in December, but the 60-day consultation with the union could potentially delay the decision, the articles said.

Wainhomes, Feniton: another second chance, and another and another …

Where and when do ” second chances” end? From a correspondent:

You may recall the following item published some time ago:

Today the time allowed for some of the work to be done expires and yet, as expected by many of the villagers, nothing has even been started. The question is: will EDDC planning now actually throw the legal book at Wainhomes or, as I suspect, give them yet more time.

A heavy hand surely is now required since being ‘nice’ clearly doesn’t work.”

EDDC, heavy hand, developers – dream on!

Cornwall Council: scrutiny, what scrutiny?

An internal report, seen by the BBC, shows Cornwall Council has issued more than 500 contracts with a value of £145m without tendering them .” …

… An internal report seen by the BBC reveals that, since 2009, the authority has granted more than 500 so-called “exemptions” with a contract value in excess of £145m. There are strict rules on exempting contracts from tendering – and the document suggests these aren’t always being properly followed.

The council said that, ideally, it limited the use of exemptions and it recognised their use retrospectively should be avoided. It added it was taking steps to address this.”

BBC Devon Live website headlines today.

Doesn’t auger well for devolution scrutiny in The Dutchy!

The housing crisis – who is to blame?

“Labour, Conservative and even Coalition Governments have failed to solve the UK housing crisis. Here’s why.

Britain’s housing crisis is nothing new. We’ve had a shortage of homes for decades, and the problem is no closer to being fixed today.

The problem is that those with the power to do so might actually be worse off if they succeeded in meeting our housing needs. …”

Hinkley C: what happens to nuclear waste? We are not allowed to know

“A furious row has broken out after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) refused to disclose the arrangement with EDF for dealing with radioactive waste at the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

The information commissioner’s office has turned down a freedom of information (FoI) request for state aid arrangements between the UK and the European commission to be made public.

The FoI complainant, David Lowry, has launched an appeal, claiming it is in the public interest for British citizens to be able to judge whether their government had made the right decision about the new reactors in Somerset.

Lowry, a British-based senior research fellow with the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in the US, said: “I do not believe the balance of judgment should be in favour of a foreign company, EDF Energy, who will potentially make huge multibillion-pound financial gain from the continued non-disclosure, and hence non scrutiny, over myself as a British tax and electricity bill payer.”

The government said that anyone building new reactors in Britain must manage and pay for the cost of handling waste products, unlike the existing situation where all radioactive materials are effectively dealt with through the public purse via the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

However, although the operator must agree to take responsibility for the spent fuel and other radioactive waste, the cost is expected to be passed on to the domestic electricity user through higher bills. …

… “If Hinkley is such a good deal, it should be no problem for the government to release the information to prove it. Their failure to do so leaves us to believe that their assumptions are correct – it’s a terrible deal for bill payers and they simply don’t know what to do with the nuclear waste.” …