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Hinkley Point C nuclear deal contains £22bn ‘poison pill’ for taxpayer

March 18, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




The Guardian reports:


The Hinkley nuclear power deal contains a “poison pill” which could leave taxpayers with a £22bn bill if a future UK government closed the plant before 2060, according to an official document seen by the Guardian.

The huge liability shows Hinkley is a “terrible deal” for the UK public, according to critics, with the company also guaranteed three times today’s price for electricity for 35 years. The project has recently been battered by financial warnings and resignations at its prime backer EDF, although on Thursday France’s economics minister, Emmanuel Macron, said that the French state would bail the company out.

The deal the UK government has agreed with EDF, set out in an unpublicised “minute”, commits the British public to pay subsidies of up to about £40bn in real terms and provides state guarantees on nuclear waste disposal and insurance, while allowing the plant to begin producing electricity as late as 2033.

A shutdown that triggers the “poison pill” compensation is not entirely within the control of the UK government but could also be forced by the EU or an international regulator such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the document.


I don’t understand why they are so surprised. Would you fork out £20 billion building a plant, so for some future government to come along and shut it down on a whim.

For some reason, they go on to interview Prof Catherine Mitchell, who calls herself an energy policy expert at the University of Exeter. Catherine it seems is none to impressed:


“This is a dreadful agreement for the nation. The government is already paying a high price, index-linked for an incredibly long 35 years. This should be more than sufficient for a professional, business contract.”


Join the queue, love. But please at least be honest enough to admit why the government has had to opt for nuclear. The country cannot get the reliable power it needs from the renewables she advocates. As fossil fuels are being rapidly phased out, nuclear is the only option left.


In other news, the Guardian has announced it is cutting 250 jobs in an attempt to break even.

It is no surprise it is a failing newspaper, given woefully one sided pieces such as this one.

  1. Dave E permalink
    March 18, 2016 8:05 pm

    Cancel it and build a couple of Drax sized coal burners at Immingham. Results — power stations built to time rather than with a 10-15 year delay. electricity much cheaper — we don’t get ripped off –the boys with their fingers in the nuclear pie don’t get their fat fees — we avoid the tens of thousands of years of nuclear waste legacy which will be left for coming generations.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 19, 2016 9:36 am

      No added rail capacity needed either… Drax must be making up for the other rail closures as the tonnage of wood pellets doubles the tonnage of coal it replaces.

  2. March 18, 2016 8:38 pm

    Someone is getting one enormous backhander from this and it aint the taxpayer.

  3. March 18, 2016 8:42 pm

    I support Hinkley C despite the cost, simply because of the people that are against it. For example, on radio 4 feedback today there was a clearly orchestrated whine of outrage from anti-nuclears, simply because “Desert Island Discs” had featured a nuclear engineer, Dame Sue Ion.

    • March 19, 2016 1:41 pm

      orchestrated probably by someone in the Feeback office; that prog is outrageously biased.

      How often is there outrageously bias in favour of Green Subsidy merchants on R4 ..yet no comment is aired on Feeback.

  4. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 19, 2016 9:33 am

    The key question is what is the trigger event that puts the clause in motion. Let’s hope it doesn’t take effect at least until the entire plant achieves commercial operation, rather than just because they break ground or commit to build it. There is no way this project should go ahead, but we need to find a formula to cancel it while minimising any penalty clauses foolishly agreed to. Indeed, someone should be working on just that right now.

  5. saveenergy permalink
    March 19, 2016 1:40 pm

    £22 BILLION on top of £61 billion for the green stuff = £83 billion for sod all… thanks to our glorious leaders.

    Then they want to save money by hitting on the disabled

    Why cant we be civilized about this….
    ….just string the governing báztárds up from the Westminster lampposts.

    • saveenergy permalink
      March 19, 2016 1:43 pm

      Note to self,
      Must stop sitting on fence & say what I really mean !!

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