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Safety problems at Flamanville nuclear project throw Britain’s Hinkley C nuclear project into doubt

Dave Toke’s Blog 20th April 2018 ,This week’s story about problems with pipe welding at the French nuclear
plant being built at Flamanville could spell the end for the Hinkley C
nuclear project.

Treasury backed loan guarantees to build Hinkley C have
been linked to a target date for commissioning of the Flamanville plant of
the end of 2020. Yet the current target date of completion by the end of
2019 has been thrown in doubt by the freshly announced problems.

The main focus of attention of this problem for Hinkley has simply been that the
design of the Flamanville plant – the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) –
is the same as that to be built at Hinkley C and that the engineering
problems bode ill for the British scheme.

That is right, but it is rather worse than this. The commercial issue is that if the French plant is not
commercially operating by the end of 2020 then it seems the Treasury will
not be able to give loan guarantees for the scheme.

According to the analyst Professor Steve Thomas, the rules agreed between the European
Commission and the British Government stipulate that ”until Flamanville 3
was in commercial service, there would be a cap on the guaranteed loans
effectively meaning funding would be primarily through equity’.


April 22, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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