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Britain’s barmy nuclear fiasco – Hinkley locking the public into high energy costs

FT 4th Aug 2017, Then there is Hinkley Point. Did you know that it’s all going swimmingly?
It’s rated dark green, meaning “Successful delivery of the project on
time, budget and quality appears highly likely.”

This is the nuclear power station that nobody wants and the subject of (another) damning report
from the National Audit Office. Hinkley Point promises financial misery for
the owner, the contractors and finally to every British business and
household through higher costs for electricity.

The owner, EDF of France, is in poor shape financially and struggling to make its home-built
prototype comply with escalating safety regulations. It has just added two
years and £1.5bn to the estimated Hinkley start-up date.

Britain’s nuclear policy dates back to 2008, an age when the oil price was only going
to rise. Nine years on, the world has changed. The combination of abundant
oil and gas and rising regulatory costs have sounded the death knell for
big nuclear fission plants.

The NAO currently estimates the Hinkley Point
subsidy at £60bn, locking Britain into high energy costs at a time of
world abundance, with a devastating impact on competitiveness. The
calculation, on the government’s estimates of fossil fuel prices, that a
three-year delay will actually save consumers money is a demonstration of
how barmy this whole fiasco has become.


August 7, 2017 - Posted by | general

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