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French nuclear company EDF faces risky investment in UK plants

In the UK the coalition wants energy companies to spend some £40bn on constructing nuclear generators at eight sites in England – and to do so without any direct public subsidy. Moreover, no nuclear power plant in Britain has been completed on time and on budget.

(UK) Uncharted waters entice French group, FT.com, By David Blair,   January 26 2011 The coalition must make 2011 the “year of delivery” for its electricity market reforms if new nuclear power stations are to go ahead, according to the leader of a joint venture aiming to complete the first reactor.
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, plans to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with the first of two reactors scheduled to begin operating in 2018.

Yet he is running a project with no global precedent. Governments elsewhere have underwritten the mammoth costs and commercial risks associated with new nuclear power stations.

In the UK the coalition wants energy companies to spend some £40bn on constructing nuclear generators at eight sites in England – and to do so without any direct public subsidy. Moreover, no nuclear power plant in Britain has been completed on time and on budget.

Mr De Rivaz aims to succeed where all his predecessors have failed. EDF Energy, the French state power company, holds an 80 per cent stake in British Energy, a joint venture with Centrica, the UK utility. Their first new power station is planned to go beside an existing reactor at Hinkley Point. The consortium proposes then to build another two reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk. The projects have a total price tag of some £18bn.

In the next few months a range of low hills beside the Bristol Channel will be flattened to prepare for Hinkley Point “C”.

Nearby are shells holding two decommissioned reactors from the first power station – “A” – built in the 1950s. Farther away is a vast silver canister containing “B”, an active nuclear generator.

If the new reactor is to be ready in 2018, EDF Energy must take its final investment decision at the start of 2012.

FT.com / Energy – Uncharted waters entice French group

January 27, 2011 - Posted by | business and costs, UK

1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ecotricity, carboncoach and adullam Limited, GreeninBrum. GreeninBrum said: RT @ecotricity: FT says EDF is taking uncharted risks in investing in UK nuclear plants without subsidy: http://cot.ag/hZgrAg ^MC […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention French nuclear company EDF faces risky investment in UK plants « nuclear-news -- Topsy.com | January 27, 2011 | Reply


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