Hinkley: You are now subsidising the French Govt £45bn
the environment |
Tuesday March 19, 2013 20:30 by Nuker
this is a bristol indymedia story
../../So today Ed Davey granted permission to EDF to build a new Nuclear plant at Hinkley
Welcome to the mad bad world where British Taxpayers/ consumers will be subsidising the French government for next 45 years. This decision will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, cheaper technologies. It's Very disappointing but not unexpected news, condemning the taxpayer to massive ongoing subsidies.
Bristol is less than 35 miles away from Hinkley. At those distances from Fukushima, Japanese families with young children or women of child-bearing age have been evacuated. http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/rebecca-johnson/from-fukushima-to-hinkley-point
Greenpeace pretty much nailed it in their press release:
Hinkley C fails every test – economic, consumer, environmental, and arguably legal.
"It will lock a generation of consumers into higher energy bills, via a strike price that’s expected to be double the current price of electricity, and it will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, cheaper technologies.
"With companies now saying the price of offshore wind will drop so much it will be on par with nuclear by 2020, there is no rationale for allowing Hinkley C to proceed.
“Giving it the green light when there is no credible plan for dealing with the waste could also be in breach of the law. Ref: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/media/press-releases/hinkley-c-fails-every-test-20130318
Public opinon / Consultation
../../So how did we get here? Ben Goldacre had this to say on the 'consultation':
EDF conducted a poll on whether people near Hinkley Point nuclear power station would like it to be expanded. The BBC dutifully reported the results: “EDF survey shows support for Hinkley power station” said the headline. “Six in 10 people support a new power station at Hinkley”. Polls like this convince locals, and politicians.
<During the interviews> in a killer move, they’re asked: “How important, if at all, do you consider a new power station at Hinkley to each of the following? To the creation of local jobs? To the future of local businesses?” And take a moment to reinforce those concerns: “Why do you say that?”
Finally, after being led on this thoughtful journey, and immediately after mulling over the beneficial economic impact it would have in their community, the locals are asked if they’re in favour of a new nuclear power station. It’s the results of this, the final question, that are reported in the press release and headlines.
To me it seems clear that this long series of preceding questions will guide people down a path of thinking about a nuclear power station in a very different way to how they normally would. It’s a line of reasoning, and that might make sense if you were trying to advocate for a kind of structured decision making, but it’s very unlikely to produce results that reflect local views, partly because we’re all a bit thoughtless, in the real world, and follow our guts in odd ways; but partly because the penultimate question is “do you want your children to be unemployed?” rather than “are you all secretly terrified we might cock up and give you cancer?”.Full article: http://www.badscience.net/2010/11/hello-madam-would-you-like-your-children-to-be-unemployed/
Less than half, 42% people in the UK support Nuclear according to a Febuary Ipsos Mori Poll: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3128/Support-for-new-nuclear-energy-slips-as-indecision-mounts.aspx
Climate change arguments
For low quality ores (less than 0.02% of U3O8 per tonne of ore), the CO2 produced by the full nuclear life cycle is EQUAL TO or greater that produced by the equivalent gas-fired power station.
A rising specific energy consumption of the nuclear chain with decreasing ore grades causes a rising specific CO2 emission per kilowatt.hour. When the nuclear system is fed by uranium from ores at grades below 0.02% uranium, the specific CO2 emission of nuclear generated electricity surpasses that of gas-fired and even coal-fired electricity generation. This phenomenon is called the CO2 trap.
If no new rich uranium resources of significant size are discovered during the next decades, the nuclear system will get stuck in the CO2 trap in the period 2050-2080, within the lifetime of new nuclear build, depending on the capacity of the world nuclear park. Ref: http://www.stormsmith.nl/np-esecurco2.html
There is a nice visual roundup of where all that C02 comes from here:http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-05-11/does-nuclear-power-produce-no-co2
Finance / State aid
To give a idea of the scale of the Subsidy the industry gets Ed Davey says 69% of the Current DECC budget being spent on Nuclear clean-up.
Current performance for new nuclear is destroying confidence in the sector. The Areva EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) being built in Olkiluoto in Finland will be seven years late when operational and will have at least doubled in cost to €8bn. The EPR plant being built in Flamanville, France is currently four years behind schedule. Its cost rose from an initial €3.3 billion in 2005 to €8.5 billion last year.
Not a single nuclear plant has ever been built which hasn’t required public subsidies of some kind. But the UK has played into the hands of investors and foreign energy firms that want guaranteed profits. Full article: http://profeng.com/blog/crisis-of-confidence-goes-nuclear
EDF still has to make a final investment decision on the project, as negotiations are continuing with the government over the long-term contract it will be granted providing a guaranteed price, known as a strike price, for the electricity generated by the plant.Months of wrangling have yet to produce a deal, with EDF rumoured to want a strike price of around £100 per megawatt-hour, almost twice the current wholesale rate. Ministers are instead pushing for a lower figure, with reports suggesting a compromise figure of £96-97/MWh is now likely, although the price could be guaranteed for up to 40 years. Nuclear opponents have argued any deal could see taxpayers fund Hinkley C to the tune of £45bn over 20 years, while the price of electricity from other low-carbon technologies, such as offshore wind, is expected to fall over the same period. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2255766/breaking-hinkley-nuclear-power-station-approved
All this while The boss of EDF has been demanding cuts to renewable energy subsidies and to help for people in fuel poverty while quietly lobbying the European Commission for financial help for new nuclear power stations.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nuclear-boss-wants-to-cut-family-fuel-aid-8537553.html
We are not the only ones to have noticed this and the EU is investigating: Britain's planned nuclear reactor programme could be delayed for years, and the nation's long-term energy policy thrown into turmoil, as European commission officials launch the first stage of a formal investigation into the use of taxpayer subsidies to support the development.A delay imposed by Brussels would cast new doubt on the £14bn project as it would be likely to make it harder for EDF to raise the capital needed until its contract with the government was fully approved. That in turn would delay the entire nuclear build programme, under which the government wanted 16 gigawatts of new nuclear power operating by the middle of the next decade.http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/14/nuclear-power-european-commission-investigation
Safety: Routine Emissions
To start with it seems that the routine Radioactive emissions from the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear plant have been underestimated
Stop Hinkley commissioned independent consultants to review the methods used to assess the environmental impacts of radioactive emissions, and found they would not be sufficient or wide-ranging enough to discover the effects on the marine environment.
Campaigner, Nikki Clarke said: "It's about the routine emissions of radioactive liquid and gas from the station, day-in, day-out.
"The reactors that they want to build, the fuel that goes into them is hotter and more dirty and more dangerous than the fuel currently loaded into the Hinkley B station.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-21827409
Safety: Transport Risks
Trains carrying nuclear waste pass through the centre of Bristol every week: http://nuclearfreebristol.wordpress.com/nuclear-trains/
It seems this happens any given Thursday:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UidPXYaww8o
We know Nuclear Transport accidents do happen, albeit minor ones so far:http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/1119
However A terrorist attack on a routine transport of nuclear waste in the UK could spread radiation over 100 kilometres, and cause over 8,000 deaths, according to an internationally renowned nuclear engineer.http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/media/press-releases/nuclear-waste-transport-incident-could-spread-radioactivity-over-100km
Safety: Catastrophic Disaster: Goodbye Bristol
Hinkley power station proposals ‘poses a threat to one million people in ../../South Wales’ “When the Fukushima nuclear power station failed so disastrously in Japan earlier this year, President Obama ordered the evacuation of all US citizens within a 50-mile radius of the disaster site. “A similar exclusion zone as a result of an explosion at Hinkley would mean the evacuation of more than one million people in Wales. Everyone in the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Neath Port Talbot and the city of Swansea would have to leave their homes.http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/10/02/hinkley-power-station-proposals-poses-a-threat-to-one-million-people-in-south-wales-91466-29522298/
Depending on wind direction for a radioactive plume, Cardiff, Taunton and Bristol are close enough to be turned into ghost towns bereft of children and women of child-bearing age. Think about it.
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