Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, is set to call on the British government to come up with a cheaper alternative to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project, as potential delay further threatens the country with an ‘energy crunch’.
According to the FT, Nandy’s comments will come on the back of talks between the British and French governments today. Mr Cameron disclosed during prime minister’s questions that he would raise the delays to Hinkley Point C as part of a wider meeting with the French president.
Although the UK has promised subsidies and guarantees to support EDF, the French-owned power company, and its Chinese partners, in building the project, EDF has delayed a crucial final investment decision in the £18bn project.
All but one of Britain nuclear power stations are scheduled to close by 2030 and the government has promised that all coal-fired facilities will close by 2025.
Ms Nandy will argue that the government must find cheaper ways to get more nuclear stations built in future as the plant will cost more than the 2012 Olympics, Crossrail and Heathrow’s Terminal 5 combined.
“That project has been hit by one delay after another, and there still has not been a final investment decision. Given the power crunch we face, it is increasingly clear ministers need a plan B in case it is never built.”
Francis Raillott of CFE-CGC, , which has two seats on the board of EDF, said the investment should not be made until problems surrounding a project in Flamanville, France have been solved.
“Right now, Hinkley is too risky for the company,” he said. “We think it is better to wait and see. Wait for three years so we can see that everything works . . . or not.”
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