Hinkley Point Plan Faces Secret Review

A review into the £24.5 billion project to build the country’s first nuclear reactor for a generation has been ordered secretly by the government amid fears that its completion will be delayed for years, threatening the secure supply of energy. Concern over the fate of Hinkley Point in Somerset, which is expected to generate 7 per cent of the country’s electricity, has grown after it emerged that EDF Energy. the French state—backed company building the plant, admitted delays in the construction of an identical reactor in France. On Tuesday. EDF said that it had pushed back completion of its Flamanville project by another year until 2017, five years later than planned. it blamed the latest delay on late deliveries of key components from French suppliers. Hinkley Point will use the same French supply chain. Engineering consultants and nuclear specialists from several companies have been working on the review for about six months, The work, costing “tens of millions of pounds”, is examining whether the project can be completed by 2023, as EDF promised. The review must clear the project before EDF is given the go‘ahead.

The nuclear industry has failed to build a modern nuclear reactor on time and on budget anywhere in the world, with F lamanville the latest in a long line of fiascos. Areva, ED F’s partner, is building another reactor of the same design in Finland, which is almost a decade behind schedule. Projects in China also are running late.

From The Times 20th November 2014

[So the Hinkley twin reactors are not at all yet certain — Ed.]