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One British nuclear build fiasco ends – Moorside. More to Come?

 9th Nov 2018 , How radioactive can you get? “The British government has blood on its
hands”. Really? Lucky it hasn’t declared war or anything – because Justin Bowden might run out of words. Who he? The GMB union’s national secretary for energy, giving his measured response to the implosion of Moorside’s
nuclear dreams: the ones looking nightmarish ever since the Nugen project’s champion, Japan’s Toshiba, went into financial meltdown.

And maybe it will mean fewer jobs in Cumbria building a £10 billion-plus nuclear white elephant. But even so, here’s an alternative view: axing the project is a let-off for Britain.

We’ve got one nuclear fiasco already: the £20 billion Hinkley Point C, forcing consumers to pay twice the wholesale price for its electricity, or £92.50 per megawatt hour, for 35 years.

And one look at how Toshiba got into its mess shows why we don’t need another one. It was bl own up by Westinghouse, the nuclear developer Britain sold for $5.4 billion in 2006. It set about building four reactors in America with its whizzy AP1000 technology. The upshot? $10 billion of cost overruns and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Such was the carnage that Toshiba was forced to flog its prized memory chip unit for $17.7 billion.

So, no great shock it’s gone cold on a repeat affair in Cumbria. Indeed, EDF would be in a similar pickle after the cost overruns on its Hinkley prototypes in France and Finland if it wasn’t 84 per cent-owned by the French government.

All the same, Toshiba’s decision to shut down Nugen raises key issues for Britain’s
energy policy. Moorside was meant to provide 7 per cent of our energy needs. So two key questions spring to mind. What’ll replace it? And should it be nuclear?

As the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit points out, offshore wind and solar power is already cheaper – as is gas. Throw in smart grids, energy saving and battery technology and the case for overpriced nukes vanishes. Toshiba is proof of the dangers.



November 10, 2018 - Posted by | general

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