STOP PRESS

Stop Hinkley welcomes Austrian Government's legal move against Hinkley

22 January 2015

The Stop Hinkley Campaign has today welcomed the Austrian Government's announcement that it will go-ahead with a legal challenge against the European Union's (EU) decision to allow billions of pounds of subsidies for Hinkley Point C. The group also welcomed the opinion expressed by Dr Dörte Fouquet, a lawyer for the Brussels-based law firm Becker Büttner, which specialises in energy and competition law, that Austria's chances of success were “pretty high.”

Stop Hinkley Spokesperson, Alan Jeffery said: “If Hinkley C goes ahead it would be the most expensive project of any kind ever built, yet it is not what is needed. What people want are warm homes, efficient appliances and bills that are affordable. We need renewable energy sources that aren't going to damage our climate. We don't need a massive project that is going to leave us with a legacy of highly dangerous nuclear waste and radioactive emissions into our environment.”

Roy Pumfrey said: “Should Austria win this legal action we foresee considerable benefits to the local community. The traffic chaos, already growing, which would have descended on Bridgwater from Junctions 23 and 24 of the M5 through the town and all the way to Hinkley will have been averted. The influx of temporary workers putting huge strains on local health, housing and education provision will not happen. The demise of HPC would be a blessing, freeing local communities from a tie to a project that promises not only immense disruption in the short term but also the long term headache of storing highly radioactive nuclear waste for many years to come.'

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STOP PRESS

As potential investors back away, Stop Hinkley Campaign calls on the Government to give up on the moribund nuclear scheme.

13 January 2015

The financing of EDF's proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has still not been settled, and several potential investors have backed away, according to the Financial Times (FT). This is despite the promise of a 35-year index-linked price guarantee backed by the UK taxpayer.

According to the FT the Kuwaitis, the Qataris, the Saudi Electric Company and even Hermes, the UK based investment fund — have all been mentioned as possible investors but none has signed up. And the fact that nothing has been said since the Chinese Premier's visit last June about the two Chinese nuclear companies investing suggests that they may have cooled on the prospective investment.

On top of all this Areva, the French, mainly State-owned company, which would be the main equipment supplier, will have difficulty funding its expected 10 per cent share of the project. Areva is struggling to survive the ongoing mess of the Olkiluoto nuclear plant in Finland , which is years behind schedule and billions over budget. Areva's losses in Finland are currently estimated at €3.9bn. And today (13th January) the Government is expected to announce that Areva, as part of the Nuclear Management Partners Consortium, has lost the contract to decommission the Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria .

One of the main reasons for this reluctance to invest is the deep uncertainty which now exists in the nuclear industry about the EPR reactors — the type that would be used at Hinkley. Cambridge nuclear engineer, Tony Roulstone, recently described the EPR as ‘unconstructable'. He said Areva is no longer actively selling power stations of this type.

The FT's solution to the lack of investors is for the UK Government to invest instead, but that investment should be contingent on the company demonstrating that either Olkiluoto or Flamanville (another EPR which is being built in Normandy, but which is also suffering from delays and cost overruns) can actually be commissioned and start production and that all the lessons of the two failures have been learnt. This would require a full, independent appraisal of what has gone wrong with the other projects. This would delay the start up of Hinkley, but a limited delay, says the FT, “would be better than proceeding at huge expense with unproven technology”.

Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Allan Jeffery said: “The Government would be crazy to invest taxpayers' money in a vain attempt to revive this moribund project. With the rest of the world giving up on EPR reactors, just on the basis of finance, the risk would be unsustainable and reckless. Far better, in this age of austerity, to invest in energy efficiency schemes which have much higher rates of return. For instance something simple like replacing street lights across the country with LED bulbs could see a rate of return up to 10% on investment.”

Another alternative to Hinkley was recently suggested in a new report from Forum for the Future, Nottingham Trent University and Farmers' Weekly which estimated that UK farms could have a generating capacity of 20GW by 2020 compared with Hinkley's 3.2GW which won't be available until at least 2023.

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No Money for Nuclear Power – Stop Brussels!
The previous European Commission has approved scandalous nuclear subsidies for the construction and operation of the largest nuclear power plants in the world at Hinkley Point. This opens the floodgates for the construction of new nuclear power plants in Europe. We have appealed directly to the European Commission to complain against it. But only when the pressure of citizens is higher than the influence of the nuclear lobby will the new EC take back the wrong decision.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014
The world's nuclear statistics are distorted by an anomaly whose cause is not technical but political. Three years after the Fukushima events started unfolding on 11 March 2011, government, industry and international institutional organizations continue to misrepresent the effects of the disaster on the Japanese nuclear program. To find a more appropriate way to deal with this situation, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014 proposes a new category called Long-Term Outage. Click here for report







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Page Updated 22-Jan-2015

Sign the EWS petition tp EC against Hinkley C
The previous European Commission has approved scandalous nuclear subsidies for the construction and operation of the largest nuclear power plants in the world at Hinkley Point. This opens the floodgates for the construction of new nuclear power plants in Europe. We have appealed directly to the European Commission to complain against it. But only when the pressure of citizens is higher than the influence of the nuclear lobby will the new EC take back the wrong decision.
They ask you all: Join in!
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What will be the total cost of nuclear waste?
We won't know until the final bill has been totted up in thousands of years. EdF won't take on that liability. EdF and the UK government are planning to dump it onto future generations.

 

This response takes an historical perspective set in the context of the proposal to build two additional nuclear reactors at Hinkley in Somerset. The fact that ‘virtual reprocessing' – or ‘not reprocessing' is proposed is to be welcomed. Unfortunately the decision to not reprocess should have been taken much earlier. At the Planning Stage it was quite clear that THORP was not needed. The same is true for the proposed Hinkley C Power Station.

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