Stop Hinkley Press Release
22 October 2013
Strike price – a stab in the dark
The government's announcement yesterday of an eye-watering £92.50 strike price is nothing more than 'grandstanding' according to campaigners in the south west. Nikki Clark, Stop Hinkley spokesperson said “Yesterdays announcement was much ado over nothing and despite all the fanfare and visits of the rich and famous to Hinkley, there is no legally binding agreement, nor will there be until the government get their plans past the European Commission which, according to various media outlets, would be summer 2014 at the earliest.”
Globally nuclear power is increasingly unpopular thanks to the ongoing crisis in Fukushima (including in China where there have been massive protests against the Chinese nuclear industry). We think that the chances of getting approval from the EU are small to none.
Energy minister Ed Davey claimed in a news conference yesterday that, unlike Finland and France, HPC will not experience cost over-runs because of the Generic Design Assessment process that EDF's proposed reactor has been through. However this is nothing more than an attempt by the Energy minister to wallpaper over the cracks in their plans.
Said Clark “The Generic design assessment was supposed to approve reactor designs at a Generic level in order to remove cost uncertainty created by major design changes made after construction has begun, as traditionally happens with nuclear reactors. However, there are many outstanding problems with the reactor design that the regulators have failed to resolve, which means that we will be left with the exact problem that the process was supposed to prevent – spiralling costs. Therefore Davey's claim of cost certainty due to the GDA is a deliberate attempt to mislead an already sceptic public, the truth of which will be borne out in the coming months and years.”
However, 2014 is long way away yet – and a lot can happen in a year, not least the boringly predictable further construction delays and cost increases expected among the unfinished reactor projects abroad - we get the feeling that if approved by the EU, the British, French and Chinese states may find themselves wishing to renegotiate the terms upwards as costs escalate, which, if it happens, will make a joke out of the idea of fixing the terms for a period as long as 30-40 years.
As for the government claims that bills will be less than £77 a year on average in 2030 this strike price is nothing more than a stab in the dark - children probably have as good a chance of predicting 2030 prices as the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
For interviews contact:
Notes to editors