The European Commission is close to concluding that Britain’s nuclear programme at Hinkley Point breaches EU state aid rules and may have to be revised, a move that could lead to long delays and even cause the complex deal to unravel. The EU competition police are examining a string of subsidies tied to the Government’s f,16bn agreement with French groups-EDF and Areva as well. as China’s General Nuclear Power to build two new generation EPR reactors. These would be the first reactors to be built in Britain since 1995, providing 7o/o of the UKs electricity. Sources in Brussels say the chief concern is a £16bn loan guarantee for the construction of the plants, insurance against a meltdown, help with decommissioning costs and the inflation-linked “strike price” of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years. The team is looking at the broader shape of the Hinkley deal and whether state support on this scale is needed for the project to go ahead. “There was no state aid for Finland’s new reactor” said one official, pointedly.
Sean Morris, Secretary, Nuclear Free Local Authorities