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British pensioners funding France’s ”nuclear renaissance” with white elephant nuclear projects?

According to Gérard Magnin, a former EDF director, the French company sees Hinkley as ‘a way to make the British fund the renaissance of nuclear in France’. He added: ‘We cannot be sure that in 2060 or 2065, British pensioners, who are currently at school, will not still be paying for the advancement of the nuclear industry in France.’ ..……….

White elephant energy projects that are tomorrow’s HS2, The Conservative Woman, 10 Dec 21, -December 10, 2021AS someone who has in a small way been opposing the climate catastrophe narrative* and has had to study the government’s energy plans, I’m beginning to wonder why Suffolk has been chosen for not one but two white elephant energy projects. What have we done to deserve this? An even more pertinent question is ‘What the hell does this technologically-illiterate government think it is doing?…….

The proposed Sizewell C will house a pair of French-designed nuclear fission reactors of 1600MW output each which are slated to be built next to the decommissioned Sizewell A. …………

 Superficially (i.e. as assessed by a typical minister who has the same knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the average 12-year-old) Sizewell seems an obvious place to dump a pair of the new generation large nuclear reactors, that is if you ignore the fact that it will take a big bite out of the Suffolk Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ruin the tourist trade for decades and require the building of a temporary town to house the thousands of workers who will be imported to build it. More to the point, they’ll come in late while costing far more than the estimate.

It seems no one in government has noticed that European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) like the two planned for Sizewell C are proving extremely difficult to build. For example, the Finnish Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant already had two reactors of a different design, so they are not nuclear tyros. They applied for planning permission for the third, the first Finnish EPR, in 2000. It was due to begin feeding power to the grid in 2010. The latest estimate is June 2022. That’s 22 years between application and delivery of electricity instead of ten. It comes as no surprise that Finland has cancelled plans for a second EPR. Another example: the Hinkley C EPRs in Somerset have a strike price of £106/MWh at 2021 prices and will, unless there are further delays, be contributing to the grid in 2026 after approval in 2008. As well as being late it is over budget: the cost estimate was £18billion in 2016, but by 2019 it was up to £22,500,000,000 and the electricity it produces will cost more than forecast.

The deadline for the UK Planning Inspectorate to submit their recommendation for Sizewell C is January 14, 2022. The minister then has three months to think it over. It will be interesting to see what he or she decides if, as is perfectly possible, we are then in the middle of a fuel and energy crisis.

Working on the Olkiluoto timescale, Sizewell C would begin to power UK homes in 2044, by which time climate hysteria may well have abated. And of course there is the matter of cost. Initial estimate for Olkiluoto was €3billion for the single reactor. Latest and nearly final estimate is €11,000,000,000. It makes HS2 look a bargain.

According to the Financial Times Her Majesty’s Government has noticed that China General Nuclear (CGN) may not be the ideal partner to be involved in building nuclear reactors in the UK: like all Chinese firms it is the tool of its owner, the Chinese State, and as such has strategic interests which may not chime with those of the UK. Permitting any foreign state-controlled company to have its hand on the off switch of the National Grid is obviously undesirable – which is unfortunate as there’s another foreign state-owned ‘partner’ in the car crash that is the UK’s nuclear development plan. Électricité de France (EDF) owns 75 per cent of Framatome, the firm responsible for the disastrous EPR design. There are various subsidies, name changes and takeovers that complicate matters but here is the underlying reality: Framatome designs, manufactures, and installs components, fuel and instrumentation and control systems. It is involved in Hinkley C, the Chinese reactors at Taishan where there have recently been safety concerns, and has recently bagged a contract to supply control and support equipment for a Russian reactor. So this foreign firm is supplying Russia and China with duplicates of the equipment which is being installed in the UK…………

And while we’re on the subject of EDF, here’s a report from the Guardian in 2017: According to Gérard Magnin, a former EDF director, the French company sees Hinkley as ‘a way to make the British fund the renaissance of nuclear in France’. He added: ‘We cannot be sure that in 2060 or 2065, British pensioners, who are currently at school, will not still be paying for the advancement of the nuclear industry in France.’ …………

December 11, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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