EDF meet today amid concerns over environmental impact and cost
An £18 billion extention to Hinkley nuclear reactor in Somerset is expected to get the go ahead today, despite concerns over its cost and environmental impact.
A decision on the Hinkley Point C site – the first new nuclear plant in the UK for 20 years – will be made when French utility company EDF meets later today.
Most of the money for the project is coming from EDF despite concerns raised about whether the country can afford it, though investment from China has also been secured.
Greenpeace has argued for renewable energy such as wind farms instead of relying on more nuclear power, with 140,000 signing a petition calling for a change of course.
The group also raised concerns about EDF’s ability to deliver the project.
John Sauven, Greenpeace Executive Director, said:
‘There isn’t a shred of evidence that Hinkley can be built on time or on budget.
And if it hits the same problems as its predecessors, it can’t be relied on to keep the lights on in the UK.
And it is costing many more billions in subsidies than initially thought.’
A report in April by the Intergeneration Foundation suggested wind farms could save the UK government billions in the cost of running the reactor.
The extention is supported by Unite the Union for the 5,600 jobs the project will create.
Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said:
‘We urge the EDF board to give the financial go-ahead on a project which will generate thousands of decent skilled jobs and help meet the energy needs of the UK for generations to come.
The cost of not doing so could result in the lights going out in Britain and the West Country missing out on the much needed economic boost which this major infrastructure project would bring.’
Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
‘Unite has already done a lot of preparation in reaching agreements with contractors over pay and skills, as well as safeguards against blacklisting on the site.
Workers are shovel ready and raring to go, all they need is the green light from the EDF board.’