EDF announce new Hinkley Point delay
Posted on: 09/09/2015

Energy developers EDF have announced that the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been delayed, due to a postponed delivery of two EPRs (pressurised water reactors). The power station, located in Somerset, will be the country’s first nuclear power plant in over thirty years. Although the use of EPRs meets EU air quality rules, the decision to postpone construction is now causing worries for the government.

Britain’s coal-fired power plants will be forced to close by 2023 creating the need to find greener, alternative sources to fill the energy gap. British nuclear plants cost almost three times more than those in other countries such as China and South Korea; however, this is due to a range of factors, such as Britain keeping more up to date figures and Asia using cheaper labour and construction costs.

As EDF are facing funding issues, the company are now hoping to receive financial backing from Premier Xi Jin Ping when he visits the capital next month, and EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy is in final discussions with the British government and their Chinese partners for support.

This is the fourth time EDF have delayed the project, which costs £24.5billion, and have delayed other projects in the past too, such as the Flamanville site in Normandy. The delays have affirmed critics’ views that overdue processes such as these usually lead to higher construction costs with later operating dates. Once the site is open, it will have a life expectancy of 60 years, and reduce 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Hinkley Point will also create 25,000 construction jobs, 900 long term jobs and provide power for 6 million homes.

Hinkley Point will be using the first two EPRs in the UK to help the government reach their emission targets, who hope to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

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