EU approves UK subsidies for new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant

The Guardian reports, 8th October 2014: “The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday gave the green light to a subsidy scheme that will enable the first new nuclear reactors to be built in Britain for nearly 20 years.

Artist impression issued by EDF of the how the new Hinkley Point C station will look.

Artist impression issued by EDF of the how the new Hinkley Point C station will look after the final go-ahead was given by the European Commission for the new 16 billion nuclear power station in the UK, 8th October, 2014.
Photograph: EDF Energy/PA

But the EC claimed that the decision had been made only after the financial arrangements put forward by the UK had been substantially modified to save cash for the British taxpayer.

The majority decision by a full assembly of 28 Commissioners is the last regulatory hurdle for EDF Energy [Electricite de France] and its £16bn plan to construct Hinkley Point C in Somerset, South West England.

The Austrian representative spoke out against the deal and his country has previously promised to launch legal action, for economic and ecological reasons, to halt the scheme — the first since Sizewell B was built in Suffolk.

There was little explanation from the EC on what exactly had been changed, argued critics. The basic deal allows the French-owned electricity generator to be guaranteed £92.50 per megawatt hour over the 35-year life of the Hinkley plant. This subsidy, twice the current price of electricity, will be paid out of household energy bills.

EDF, in co-operation with the Chinese is at the forefront of plans to build new reactors, but other companies have also made clear they want to follow suit.

Source: The Guardian 8th October 2014. For the full text see: www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/08/european-commission-approves-hinkley-point-nuclear-subsidy-deal

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