US Nuclear Power Station Took 43 Years to Finish

hinckley

As news breaks that the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point could cost an additional £3 billion, a smaller story from the US serves as a stark warning of the risks when building new plants.

Watts Bar nuclear power plant’s second reactor is scheduled to finally go into operation this summer. This project has taken 43 years, with shifting regulations, unsure demand and spiralling costs all helping to create a stop-start pantomime.

There has been criticism about the decision to build an EPR reactor at Hinkley Point, seen as overly expensive and previously dogged by severe delays – Finland cancelled their new EPR reactor last year after the project had gone over budget and schedule, France saw the cost of one such project nearly treble, and China is facing significant delays on the construction of its own EPRs. In fact, since the first order was placed in 2003, not one of French company Areva’s EPR plants have been completed: of the three EPR reactor projects signed up to so far, one is delayed, one is delayed and over budget, and the other is cancelled. These are the reactors Britain will likely be lumbered with…

News of these delays, and the lessons from America, should be of concern to DECC. Having already signed up to the most generous nuclear subsidy package in history, there is a real danger that Hinkley Point C becomes a mega-watt white elephant. French company EDF has refused to sign on the dotted line until summer. There is still time for a strategic re-think…

mdi-timer 12 May 2016 @ 15:23 12 May 2016 @ 15:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ed Davey Defends EDF Deal

Ed Davey’s worst ever Hinkley Point C deal, which will allow owners EDF to charge treble the current market rate for 35 years, was featured on the Today Programme this morning. The BBC failed to mention at any point before, during, or after Davey’s interview that he is now working for EDF’s lobbying firm, MHP. Davey spoke for three minutes defending his deal with EDF, and did not once think to mention his new role as a ‘strategic adviser at MHP to the energy sector’.

Davey claims the agreement was made with “the best available advice”:

“… the truth is, if you look at deals like this, which are over 60 years of generating, you don’t know sitting here today exactly what the value’s going to be, because you’d have to know the price of carbon, the prices of gases and things, in 20, 30, 40 years time – I’m not a clairvoyant, I’m not God.”

You do work for a firm that lobbies on behalf of EDF though…

mdi-timer 9 March 2016 @ 13:17 9 Mar 2016 @ 13:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments