Letter published in the ”East Anglian Daily Times” 1ST August 2016
The decision made by EDF to proceed with the building of Hinkley C is a manifest disaster at a number of different levels. Firstly, the costs are totally unrealistic, estimated to be £18bn which is double the original budget and at a unit strike price double the cur rent level. It will prevent energy being delivered to the consumer at anything like a competitive cost. Secondly, EDF‘s other projects are already three times over budget and excessively delayed. There is no good reason to doubt that Hinkley C will suffer the same fate. Nuclear energy is not only a hugely complex technology, it is also extremely dangerous. if this deal goes ahead,‘ it will commit the country to index-linked energy costs double the existing levels which are not only unsustainable but will represent a huge burden on energy customers for in excess of thirty-five years once the station has become operational. ‘
The reality is that since those early discussions to commit to a new generation of nuclear power stations took place, technology has moved on enormously. New ways of generating energy have been developed, including solar, wind and tidal and t e costs of this new energy are plummeting year by year, making it extremely cost effective. These technologies are not only safer but will meet energy needs far quicker, far more efficiently and at a lower cost than nuclear ever could. Renewables are without doubt the energy of the future, both economically and environmentally;
It may be that the Government is new re thinking its plans for some of these very reasons. Ed Davey has talked about the lights going out by 2020 but Hinkley C wouldn’t be operational until at least 2025. Renewable energy is available now and growing fast. Whether it is too late to prevent Hinkley C or not, it is certainly not too late to compound the mistake by also proceeding with Sizewell C. EDF Company Directors have already resigned in protest against taking such a serious business risk and it is hardly likely that another £18bn will also be found for Sizewell. There are no justifiable grounds on which to invest in a new Nuclear Power Station at Sizewell at a time when energy technology is changing so rapidly and also given the ongoing risks of nuclear as has been forcefully demonstrated at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. This madness must come to an end.
Nuclear energy is demonstrably unsafe, demonstrably unsustainable and in a modern world of renewable energy, totally unnecessary.
Charles Barnett, Chairman S.D.S.C. “