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Hinkley nuclear fiasco is a threat to French company EDF

AREVA EDF crumblingNu Clear News No 87 5 Aug 16 EDF’s future threatened.  Perhaps of more immediate concern is that a go-ahead for Hinkley could threaten the future of the company itself. EDF is a company in a very precarious financial situation. The ratings agency, S&P, postponed a decision to downgrade its credit rating when the UK Government announced the review. (7) EDF has €37 billion of debt. The collapse in energy prices has pushed earnings down 68% in 2015. The Company needs to spend €50 billion upgrading its network of 58 ageing reactors by 2025. It is scrambling to sell €4 billion of new shares and €10 billion of assets to strengthen its balance sheet. EDF is also expected to participate in the €5 billion bailout of Areva, the bankrupt developer of EPR technology, by taking a 75 per cent stake. (8) About the last thing it needs is a new €15 billion millstone around its neck.



Roy Pumfrey said “The EDF Board should take the opportunity presented by this pause to see that its Nuclear SatNav has taken the Company down a dead end; it’s only a matter of time before we hear that voice saying “At the next opportunity, turn round!”‘



He continues: “Perhaps most disappointing if not unexpected has been the reaction of the big UK Union leaders. Whilst confessing themselves ‘baffled’ by the government’s ‘bonkers’ decision, they should ask why the French union leaders representing EDF’s own workers were (and are) solidly and vocally opposed to HPC. This project involves a reactor which many of EDF’s own staff regard as unconstructable, selling off the family silver to fund it and putting EDF and therefore their own livelihoods at risk. UK unions do not seem to appreciate that the fantasy 25,000 jobs on HPC are a conjurer’s trick. Only 30% will be ‘local’, which means 90 minutes drive time from HPC, and with only 5,600 on site on any one day, a job with a particular skill set will only be good for two years at most. That’s assuming that

HPC can be built in an optimistic ten years, even that too long to keep the lights on.”



Over recent months several different alternative to building Hinkley Point C have been detailed (10) Most recently consultancy firm Utilitywise has described the proposed nuclear station as an “unnecessary expense” Energy efficiency measures could save the equivalent amount of electricity along with £12bn


Roy Pumfrey said: “This Government review of Hinkley Point C provides us with a wonderful opportunity to turn Somerset into a sustainable energy hub for England. The alternatives would be better for jobs, better for consumers, would reduce the mountain of dangerous waste we don’t know how to deal with and save Somerset from a decade of disruption caused by one of the biggest construction projects in the world The sooner EDF and the UK Government come to their senses the better.



August 5, 2016 - Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, UK

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