As we begin a new year of campaigning against nuclear in general, and Sizewell in particular, it is worth looking back brieﬂy over the past months, which has chronicled some of the worst possible concerns about the integrity of the nuclear industry.
As you are aware, Electricitie de France (EdF) owns all the British operating nuclear reactors and in 2016 was awarded, in partnership With China General Nuclear Power, two new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset at a cost of upwards of £18bn. This despite EdF having major
operational problems, ﬁnancial instability, delays, over-runs, safety concerns, alleged false accounting, anti-competitive practice and huge ongoing legal battles.
In July 2016, it’s sister company: Areva, suffered spiraling debts, tippled towards bankruptcy and it was alleged that important documents had been falsiﬁed. The ailing EdF stepped into offer 2.5billion Euros to purchase Areva’s reactor construction business, the division that will build Hinkley C.
You will recall that last year, twelve of EdF’s reactors were shut down by the French Regulator for safety checks, because of potentially excessive levels of carbon in the steel used in the steam generators. As a result, it may be a real winter of discontent in France as fuel prices are surging and there are risks of power cuts resulting in electricity being imported from the UK.
Throughout 2016, the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign has been active not just writing to the Chief Inspector of the Office of Nuclear Regulation, but also meeting with him. For the Government to invest in a new generation of nuclear power stations when the rest of the world is investing . heavily in the fastest growing renewables market is completely indefensible. To partner with EdF and China is even more impossible to justify.
Most recently Greenpeace has filed a lawsuit against EdF alleging that it has deliberately underestimated the true cost of their nuclear reactors and elsewhere there has been an accusation of a conﬂict of interest at Hinkley with one of the companies directly connected to EdF being awarded contracts and half the Board of Directors being remunerated. This is still being investigated.
Robin Pagnamenta, Deputy Business editor of the Times, summed it up perfectly when he said in November: ‘British consumers will pay through the nose for thirty-five years to build the world’s most expensive power plant using an untested design from a bankrupt developer”.
All this at a time when the latest Sizewell ‘Consultation’ is taking place. Now is the time to contact
Sizewell to say louder and clearer than ever in 2017 that nuclear power has been completely discredited and that Sizewell C must not proceed.
Send your views to: FREEPOST SZC CONSULTATION