UK made grave errors over Hinkley nuclear project: MPs

Posted: November 22, 2017 by oldbrew in Accountability, government, Incompetence, Nuclear power

Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point

Wasting vast amounts of money and selling consumers short seems to be par for the course in UK electricity generation, as this report highlights.

Britain made “grave strategic errors” in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded Wednesday.

The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee stressed that consumers will pay a high price for construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which was given the green light by the government in September 2016.

The £19.6-billion ($26-billion, 22-billion-euro) project, which is to be built by French energy giant EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), is highly symbolic of the UK’s nuclear renewal.

The pair will construct two European Pressurised Reactors, a third-generation reactor design, at the site in Somerset, southwest England. Neither of the EPRs will however be operational until the end of 2025 at the earliest.

“The government made some grave strategic errors here and must now explain what it will do to ensure these are not repeated,” wrote Labour MP Meg Hillier, who is chair of the cross-party committee of lawmakers.

The report voiced alarm that the government does not intend to review the contract—despite the fact it could add £30 billion to consumers’ bills over the next 35 years.

That is five times more than the government envisaged in 2013 when it agreed provisional terms.

Continued here.

  1. tom0mason says:

    “Britain made “grave strategic errors” in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded Wednesday.”

    Surely not. The British government has ensured that electricity prices will rise, which is in line with what the bureaucrats and politician wished to have happen. How else could they make ruinable power generation (aka wind and solar) look like it is a cost effective method.

    It was never “grave strategic errors”, it was by design!

  2. Bitter&twisted says:

    But not, apparently, when the green (pun intended) light was given to windmills, solar farms and burning imported wood pellets at Drax?
    You couldn’t make this cr@p up.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve never understood why the UK, a leader in nuclear power tech until recently, is outsourcing this to China and The French. British design skill is as good as anyone’s and better than most.

    Oh Well.

    fwiw: as a project manager who’s run many $ million size projects, THE budget killers are indecision, delay, and changing unstable plans. (Honorable mention to too much government regulation and union work rules). So what is iconic of nuclear plant builds since the greens got grumpy about them in the 70s? Why just those things…

    We could have safe clean nuclear power at about 5 ¢ /kW-hr with standard, pre approved, modular designs built rapidly and consistently. That the greens are not pushing this tells me CO2 is a fraud argument for political control, not actual CO2 reduction.

  4. ivan says:

    The greens have a lot to answer for regarding anything nuclear although a lot of it in the UK goes back to Greenham Common in the 80s. The sad thing is that this produced the over regulation that we have today.

    The one thing the government will not look at is the idea of using the proven design of the ship/submarine reactor where we could have a lot of them situated at strategic places to supply power locally rather than the very expensive carbon positive unreliables they want to foist on the public.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Five reasons why the UK needs Small Modular Reactors

    A once in a lifetime opportunity: Rolls-Royce leads a UK consortium to deliver next generation reactors meeting the UK’s energy needs.

  6. The UK should have gone into partnership with the South Koreans who have small modular units which can be up and running (after permits) in about 18 months. They are or have installed units in the UAE to power desalination plants. I understand Finland who are building a new nuclear power station have an agreement with South Korea. Involving the French or any country in the EU has to be stupidity. The Chinese are only in it to learn and for political reasons. They could have built it for less than a third of the price but are happy to cream the British public while gaining knowledge of what not to do.