EDF could delay investment on Hinkley Point nuclear plans

Posted at December 11, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on EDF could delay investment on Hinkley Point nuclear plans

Energy company EDF Energy is reportedly delaying the investment decision on its plans for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset in southwest England.

According to The Guardian newspaper today, the company had been expected to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the plans or not by the end of this year. That decision does not now look likely until April next year, says the report.

In a statement from the company on Friday in response to the UK government’s release of its Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan, said the Hinkley Point project still “subject to a final decision to invest”.

The report comes amid difficult times for the company. Last week EDF had to admit that costs on its European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at Flamanville in Normandy have gone up by 2 billion euros since the previous estimate to 8.5 billion euros.

To compound EDF’s difficulties, Italian utility Enel then dropped out of their partnership to develop a further five EPR reactors in France.

But if the Hinkley Point nuclear development plan does go ahead, along with EDF’s proposal for Sizewell in Suffolk, each project would create around 25,000 job opportunities.

Despite the setbacks at Flamanville, EDF says that “good progress” is being made on the assessment of the EPR design for the UK market, with only one issue to be resolved with the regulator before the technology is licensed.

In the statement, the company says it is still hoping to have “all the components” in place around the end of the year, including the recommendation from the planning inspectorate to the Secretary of State on the project, to make a final decision on Hinkley Point.

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Related stories:
Enel drops out of nuclear plans with EDF after costs soar (7-Dec)
UK launches bid to revitalise its nuclear industry (7-Dec)
EDF Energy extends life of UK nuclear facilities by seven years (5-Dec)
Hitachi closes deal to buy E.ON and RWE’s nuclear venture (27-Nov)

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