Hinkley Nuclear Delay ‘Bonkers’

Government warned against putting off £18bn project

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Hinkley Point B

A day away from the final signing, the government has revoked its ‘ok,’ saying it needs more time to think over approving the £18bn nuclear plant, throwing multiple nations and businesses into confusion.

This shocking backpedalling has shaken business confidence of investors and locals alike. The indecisiveness is thought to be down to worries over Chinese investment in the UK. If the plan goes ahead, the plant will be a third funded by China.

The GMB union’s national secretary for energy, Justin Bowden said “Theresa May’s decision to review the go-ahead on HPC is bewildering and bonkers.

“After years of procrastination what is required is decisive action, not dithering and more delay.

“This unnecessary hesitation is putting finance for the project in doubt and 25,000 new jobs at risk immediately after Brexit. It is a gross error of judgement and must be reversed.”

Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s joint chief of staff, said there were security concerns in being reliant on the Chinese. It is thought the Chinese could close down all of Britain’s nuclear reactors if they so wished.

A senior official in the Chinese nuclear industry said “we are really questioning what’s going on. We were all set to go over when it was suddenly pushed back. It seems the UK government has a lot of doubts, we aren’t sure where all this is coming from.”

Previous MP David Cameron and business chancellor George Osbourne had been the ones to spearhead investment relations with the Chinese. Theresa May, who had been home secretary during the time, had repeatedly raised security concerns.

But this postponement does not just frustrate Beijing, but France too as French firm EDF has the majority stake in the scheme. Board member Gerard Magnin recently resigned, calling the plant financially risky.

Shares in EDF have gone up 8% in France due to the delay. This could be down to hopes that EDF will not go ahead with the plant as it remains a contentious issue.

The plant, known as Hinkley Point C (HPC) would power 5.8 million homes, producing 3,200,000,000W of electricity, the equivalent to lighting almost 300,000,000 light bulbs. Furthermore, it is expected to create 25,000 jobs as well as contributing to Britain’s lower carbon future hopes.

There are worries over potential environmental damage, destructive risks akin to the Fukushima meltdown and future costs however.

The government is to continue looking over details of the project, with the next final decision projected to come autumn. For now, the decision is still up in the air as is global confidence in UK investment.

 

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