Greens say the case for building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley is now firmly closed
7 September 2014
They cite three strong arguments for not proceeding with the controversial Hinkley C power plant: European Competition law, cost and delay and the irrelevance of nuclear for future electricity generation. These are in addition to the crucial issues of safety and the unresolved question of what to do with nuclear waste, say the Green Party.
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West and long time campaigner against nuclear, said: “Its time to abandon nuclear power. The government's whole nuclear strategy is legally questionable; fails to offer us energy security, either in the short term or long term and makes no economic sense”.
Greens have challenged the legality of up to £17bn worth of ‘back door' government subsidies to EDF, the company planning to build Hinkley C; a deal currently being investigated by the European Commission to see if it constitutes illegal State Aid.
Greens also point to a similar reactor being built in Finland, which is now expected to be almost a decade late and well over budget. They say that similar delays to Hinkley would totally undermine one of the key arguments the government uses to justify its nuclear programme: that nuclear is urgently needed to fill the energy gap and ‘keep the lights on'.
Finally, Greens highlight a report from giant multinational investment bank, UBS, which concludes that the proposed £16 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station could be obsolete within 10 to 20 years. The report says large power stations will soon become extinct because they are inflexible, and are “not relevant” for future electricity generation. The bank urges investors to “join the [solar] revolution”.
Molly Scott Cato concluded, “This really is a case of three strikes and you're out”.
The Green Party reaffirmed its opposition to nuclear power at its autumn conference in Birmingham at the weekend.