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« An excellent letter on the disastrous Hinkley nuclear deal | Main | Brit government claims nuclear deal with EDF very close »
Monday
Oct212013

UK government fleeces public for China/France nukes deal

Reports Reuters: "Britain signed a deal with France's EDF to build a 16-billion pound ($26-billion) nuclear plant, becoming the first European country to provide state guarantees to help fund a nuclear project.

The Hinkley Point C project in southwest England, the first new European nuclear plant since the Fukushima crisis, is expected to start producing power from 2023 and will receive a guaranteed electricity "strike" price of 92.50 pounds ($150) per megawatt-hour for 35 years, more than twice the current market rate, EDF and the British government said on Monday."

Writes Oliver Tickell in The Ecologist: "Nuclear power brings many casualties. The first of these is the truth. According to the Government, the "deal" announced with EDF and Chinese nuclear companies to build a pair of 1.6GW reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset is an excellent one that will provide the country with safe, low cost and secure electricity. This is a masterpiece of mendacity, and of chutzpah. The deal is a disastrous one for the UK, its taxpayers and energy users. We will be locked into a punitively high electricity price, index-linked, from 2025 until 2060, and the cumulative cost of this one nuclear power station will be well in excess of £100 billion, or around £1 billion per year in today's money.

"The deal is also built on a lie - that nuclear power is not receiving any public subsidy. The "strike price" offered to EDF is a subsidy in all but name. And it's only the beginning of the UK's largesse, which also cover Treasury financing guarantees covering 65% of the construction cost (£10 billion), underwriting of decommissioning costs and waste management liabilities stretching millennia into the future, and limitless insurance against nuclear catastrophes of the kind that struck Fukushima. EDF will only be liable for the first €1.2 billion of costs arising from accident. Fukushima is conservatively estimated to have cost Japan over £300 billion. With free market insurance costs estimated at between €0.14 and €2.36 per kWh produced, the UK Government's insurance represents an additional subsidy worth €3 billion to €60 billion per year." Read the rest of the article.