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UK’s £26bn Hinkley Point C nuclear station now faces 11 year delay

Britain’s flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is facing the risk of an 11-year delay, piling further pressure on efforts to keep the lights on. According to a new contract between the Government and French company
EDF, Hinkley will still be funded even if it does not start operating until 2036 – more than a decade after its initial deadline in 2025.

It raises the prospect of significant further hold-ups at Hinkley, which has already been delayed until mid-2027. The change to the subsidy contract terms comes as the Government is paying China a reported £100m to exit its involvement in a second planned new nuclear project, Sizewell C in Suffolk, which is also being developed with EDF. The Government confirmed on Tuesday that CGN will exit Sizewell C, with the state paying an unconfirmed sum to cover its 20pc shareholding and a commercial return. The Times reported this to be £100m. CGN’s involvement with Hinkley Point C is believed to be unaffected.

However, as part of the negotiations, Hinkley Point C now has more leeway than previously to get up and running. The project has a deal with the Government under which it gets a guaranteed £92.50 per megawatt hour for its electricity for the first 35 years of its life, backed by a levy on consumer bills.

When the project was first agreed in 2016, it was due to start generating at the end of 2025. In January 2021, that was pushed back
to June 2026, and in May 2022 it was pushed back again to 2027, with EDF blaming the pandemic and supply chain issues. Costs are now expected to be as high as £26bn. The plant is using a new type of generating technology, EPR, which is so far only in commercial operation in Taishan, China, where one reactor has been shut down due to problems.

Telegraph 29th Nov 2022


November 30, 2022 - Posted by | politics, UK

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