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