The UK’s National Audit Office has released a report that highlights additional expenses associated with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in southwestern England.

The parliamentary watchdog has warned that risks involved mean cash and electricity payment top-ups worth £30bn could accrue.
Hinkley Point C construction worker and JCB
“Delays have pushed back the nuclear power plant’s construction, and the expected cost of top-up payments … has increased from £6bn to £30bn,” the report from the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

The NAO is publishing its report just as the government has committed to help to curb energy costs as part of its new policy objectives.

Hinkley Point C is Britain’s first new nuclear plant to be built in decades. It has been plagued by delays and criticised for its guaranteed price for electricity, which is higher than current market prices.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said, “Consumers won’t pay a penny until Hinkley is built; it will provide clean, reliable electricity powering six million homes and creating more than 26,000 jobs and apprenticeships.”

The watchdog’s report criticised the government for failing to fully consider the impact on bills beyond 2030.

“The UK government could come under pressure to provide more support or take on additional risk, particularly given (Hinkley’s) potential importance for ensuring energy security,” it said.