Latest fears of delays at Hinkley Point where the world’s most expensive nuclear power station is being built, are likely to lead to increased costs for the billpayer, the SNP has said.
Industry reports suggest that EDF, in charge of developing a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, has been forced to delay energy generation at other sites in Europe due to significant plant problems, likely to affect their UK developments too.
This latest warning over the beleaguered Hinkley project comes in addition to the fact the cost of the new plant is already three times over budget - and rising. Hinkley’s ‘strike price’ is already guaranteed to be higher than prices for other energy sources, meaning big increases in electricity bills for consumers.
French power utility EDF announced that there will be further delays and cost overruns at its Flamanville nuclear site in France.
The start-up date for the Flamanville 3 reactor has now been pushed back to the second quarter of 2020, having originally been slated for 2012 when construction began in 2007. The revised cost estimate of 10.9 billion euros is now three times the original budget.
There is now serious doubt over whether a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point can be built by 2025, or within the £20 billion revised budget which is already set to impact upon consumers’ energy bills. Costs running even further above this exorbitant rate will mean further pain for bill payers.
These latest fears over Hinkley and the expensive energy it will produce comes just one week after the Tories announced plans to scrap feed-in tariffs for renewables projects from next year.
The SNP has reiterated its calls for the plug to be pulled on Hinkley and the billions saved to be reinvested in green energy.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Hinkley Point is a complete white elephant; it is already significantly delayed and well over budget. I would be flabbergasted if all these delays and complications didn’t lead to a massive increase in the initially estimated costs. If the project ever becomes operational.
“The Prime Minister only two years ago wavered on pursuing Hinkley. She should have followed her instincts and cancelled the project.”
“The biggest tragedy is that this saga is only one of many symptoms of how unviable and out of touch the Tories are with their energy policy.
“With one hand they cut support for the clean industries of the future, while with the other they continue to throw money at this project which was racked with problems before it got off the drawing board.
“The sooner Scotland has full control over energy policy the better, so we can invest wisely in green energy.”