Startling news of further delays and safety issues threatening to turn Hinkley C into a huge white elephant on our doorstep.
EDF and the UK government failed to take climate change into account when calculating the new nuclear power station’s costs. Sea levels could rise by up to two metres during its planned lifetime and the plant will need massive sea defences to be built, to protect its reactors, entailing further enormous costs. Add to this the spiralling costs and delays of ten years in completing the two identical nuclear plants in Finland and France, plus the comparative cheapness of renewable energy, and Hinkley C is already way out of date.
This poses the inevitable question that, with the Bristol Channel having the second highest tide differential in the world and with offshore wind power becoming by far the cheapest energy on the planet, why on earth are we building a nuclear power station at this location at all?
And now there are potential safety issues for the identical reactor at Flamenville, France. For months, dozens of faulty welds have been discovered during inspections. These are now under investigation by experts to see if they need to be redone to ensure the reactor’s safety. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?