Hinkley Point C nuclear plant may be delayed for another year

Posted: February 29, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, Nuclear power
Tags: ,

Waiting...waiting... [credit: smh.com.au]

[credit: smh.com.au]

The seemingly endless saga of the UK’s attempts to get a new nuclear plant rumbles on ad infinitum, as PEI reports. This news comes as UK coal plants are closing at an ever-faster rate.

There are fears that final approval for the Hinkley Point C project in south western England may be delayed for another year, as the company’s board frets about seeking new investors for the project. The Financial Times reports that the company is concerned about being exposed if it doesn’t secure additional backing.

The nuclear power plant, originally set for a 2017 opening, has since been put back to 2025, but analysts now say the latest issue could push that date back even further. EDF has said repeatedly that final investment decision (FID) approval for the plant in Somerset, in the west of England, is “imminent”. Jean-Bernard Lévy, chief executive, said last week the decision was “very close”.

French rules dictate that the company must consolidate the debt for Hinkley if it owns more than 50 per cent of the scheme. Under a deal struck with CGN, the Chinese state-owned nuclear company, EDF owns 66.5 per cent of the project but it wants to offload a portion to avoid taking on the extra debt. While Mr Lévy has said that he hopes to bring in other investors after taking the final investment decision, others on the board say it should do so as a prerequisite, a process likely to last into 2017.

Full report: Hinkley Point C nuclear plant may be delayed for another year – Power Engineering International

  1. Fanakapan says:

    A combined Oil and Natural Gas glut that seems set to last for at least 2 years, obviously results in private energy companies facing lower returns, which in turn leads to ‘Investment’ problems.

    Given that the British public would never countenance the NHS being run by private entities, one wonders how they accept what is probably just as an important national service being subject to the vicissitudes of the ‘Market’

    Its likely that the EU uncertainty’s pushing down of the £, which results in higher prices at the pump will slow the coming of the inevitable public demand for the EnergyCo’s to lower prices. Which when it comes will exacerbate the investment problems of the cartel, thus leading to even more certainty that the G will end up providing these private companies with public money in order that they should continue to provide some sort of service.

    Yet again, profits have been privatised whilst potential losses get socialised 🙂

  2. oldbrew says:

    If Hinkley C gets built at all it will be years later than planned. Meanwhile the decline of coal is ahead of schedule and part-time wind can never be a secure alternative.

    Which all adds up to a big mess at some point.

  3. tom0mason says:

    Lewis Strauss of the United States Atomic Energy Commission in a 1954 speech said: “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter…’
    However neither the US nor the UK reached that dream. With the delays to Hinkey Point C dragging on it appears the British public will be paying dearly for a metered supply and for imported fuels, expensive and unproductive renewables, as well as all the know-how for the Hinkley project. And there is still the very real threat of power outages due to insufficient capacity.

    The most obvious fuel — coal, is off limit due to the profound stupidity of British, and US, leaders. So for both countries de-industrializing is set to be the order of the days, with just hope and prayers as the plan for tomorrow.
    How things have changed, from those optimistic days of the first nuclear power plants to today’s malaise of CO2 reduction targets and dreams ‘sustainability’.

    The future looks bright? The future looks medieval!

  4. A C Osborn says:

    Please, please cancel this expensive white elephant with it’s exorbitant subsidies ASAP and get in someone who can actually design & build a decent Nuclear Power Station for a reasonable price and on time.
    At the same time stop all the subsidies.

  5. oldbrew says:

    ACO: still cheaper – if that’s the right word – than Swansea lagoon, but only just.


  6. A C Osborn says:

    Which is a much physically bigger white elephant.

  7. oldbrew says:

    And equally unproven in terms of cost and reliability – no examples of either in operation.

  8. Stephen Richards says:

    The UK government have decided to subsidise oil, gas and coal to ensure the lights stay on this year and next. They will have to pay EU fines as well as extra contributions in your club fees in order to keep themselves in power after the brits vote stay.

  9. ivan says:

    @A C Osborn,

    To get a reasonable price for a nuclear power station the UK would need to remove the gold plating from the excessive regulations and eco requirements. Nuclear power is so over regulated that it is a wonder that any one would even consider building such a power station in the UK and it all stems from the eco idea the any level of radiation is BAD.

    Reading some of the regulations it would appear that they require less radiation in a nuclear power station than there is with the normal background radiation.

    Until there is a drastic rethink of what real requirements are and the regulations have been rewritten to reflect that there won’t be any new nuclear power stations.

  10. michael hart says:

    The cost/profitability of nuclear power is ultimately determined by government regulation and bureaucratic delays. Green opponents of nuclear power have known this for decades. It is another of their crowning ‘victories’, if not the major one to date.

    We could have had a better version built in the UK, but will probably end up, very late and expensive, with an (initially inferior) technology from China. After some years the Chinese companies will end up owning the whole market in countries that sabotaged their own domestic industries. Then, a couple of decades later, the government will declare that it is a good thing for universities to teach more courses for an industry that largely left the country because of government actions.
    We’re not talking about subsidies for industry here, we’re just talking about not f?!@#ing industry up the a*&^%ss with green-tape.

    A similar thing happened with car manufacturing, albeit with different actors and motivations. Eventually the Japanese came back to Britain to teach us how to make cars again. Then they did it to the US.

  11. michael hart says:

    To clarify, I’m not saying the UK-owned car industry was regulated out of existence, but it was destroyed by a combination of UK establishment indifference or contempt for industry, up to and including the highest levels. (With few exceptions, studying science or engineering at university was never really for the decision-making class in the UK). That, and determined opponents who had political objectives and cared not one whit for either companies or individuals, except insofar as they could serve their own selfish political objectives.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Related news: ‘DECC Announce Changes To Capacity Market’

    More money on the table to tempt coal, gas and nuclear to keep going instead of shutting down – they hope. Electricity customers will have to cough up again.

  13. tom0mason says:

    Meanwhile after 22 years of generating electricity the Killingholme Gas Power Station has now closed.

  14. tom0mason says:

    People may wish to contrast and compare how South Korea does things as they have just grid connected their APR1400 nuclear reactor.

    “Nearly eight years since construction kicked off in October 2008—despite years of delays posed by delivery delays and a crippling documentation scandal that required cabling replacements—Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) put Shin Kori 3 (Figure 2) online on January 15. A twin reactor at Shin Kori 4 is expected to start up in 2017… Meanwhile, two more APR1400s are under construction at Shin Hanul (Units 1 and 2) and should come online between April 2017 and February 2018.”
    Also of note is the price…
    “According to state-owned KHNP, the APR1400 evolved from the “well-proven” OPR1000 Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant design, taking just 10 years and 234.6 billion won…”
    — about £137 million, to develop.

  15. oldbrew says:

    ‘EDF finance chief quits over Hinkley Point nuclear plant’

    Report: ‘The company is also facing opposition from French union officials, who have suggested that investment in Hinkley Point C should be delayed until 2019.

    The CFE-CGC Energy union said there were problems with a similar reactor design in France that needed to be solved.’