Stop Hinkley predicts “crazy scheme will collapse under the weight of argument”. The Chinese Premier is about announce, amongst other things, a deal for Chinese firms to invest in the most expensive nuclear power plant ever which EDF is proposing to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
However, the UK Government is only ‘hopeful’ that a “heads of agreement” will be signed over the next few days. The shrinking number of supporters of the Hinkley project will have to continue waiting for a final investment decision.
“We remain mystified” (as does Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance) said Stop Hinkley Spokesperson, Alan Jeffery said “about why George Osborne wants to throw good money after bad on this project. In the process, he has devastated the UK’s burgeoning renewable energy industry, threatening up to 20,000 jobs in the process. He is doing his best to kill off an innovative industry of the future in order to keep alive a technology of the past. It makes about as much sense as funding a telegram service whilst killing off the mobile phone industry.”
Over the past few weeks Stop Hinkley understands that:
– Only 29% of the UK population support plans to go-ahead with a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
– Two of the world’s biggest rating agencies (Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) have threatened rating downgrades for EdF – if Hinkley Point ever gets the green light. The inevitability of big cost overruns and delays on the project could only have significant ‘credit negative effects’.
– Senior military and intelligence figures have warned ministers that plans to give China a big stake in Britain’s nuclear power industry pose a threat to national security.
– The United States has publicly aired its worries over Britain’s increasing ties with China. The Japanese nuclear companies, Hitachi and Toshiba are understood to be furious that fast-tracking an assessment for a Chinese reactor-type, as part of the Hinkley deal, could divert the resources of UK nuclear regulators.
Allan Jeffrey continued: “Going cap in hand to a country with such a lamentable human rights and health and safety record is bad enough, but doing so to fund the biggest white elephant in history and kill off the industry which offers the UK’s best hope of tackling climate change is just insane. Surely it must only be a matter of time before this crazy scheme collapses under the weight of argument.”