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Hinkley Point C To Go Ahead After Edf Board Approves Project

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https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/28/hinkley-point-c-to-go-ahead-after-edf-board-approves-project

Britain is set to get its first new nuclear power station for a generation after EDF’s directors voted in favour of building Hinkley Point C.

After a decade of debate about the controversial £18bn project, the EDF board approved the project by 10 votes to seven, according to reports in Paris.

To bring the French onside of Brexit? Certainly the figures banded around make you wonder about the economic logic of this.

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Total madness they will have the uk over a barrel for at least 30 years, still with Chinese money and French know how what can go wrong!!!!!!!!!

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My biggest problem with Hinkley is that in just 60 years we've gone from the first country to implement civilian nuclear power to having to bribe (with a ridiculous guarantee of 3x the current wholesale electricity price) the French and Chinese governments in order to keep the lights on.

What happened to our domestic nuclear expertise? As usual anything of any actual use has been privatised and financialised into oblivion.

Edited by irrationalactor

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Madness if this goes a head without a final prices with penalties attached for any delay and no payment until the place is up and running

The fixed price electricity contract, while ludicrously expensive and vulnerable to interest rates (the guaranteed price paid rises if interest rates rise, plus it is index linked), does at least protect against delays.

The contract expires 35 years after the scheduled operation date. If the plant is delivered late, the contract does not provide an automatic extension.

What value in electricity will it generate each year?

At current market value (which has recently dropped sharply due to the availability of very low cost natural gas), about £1 billion. At the fixed price, it will bring in a guaranteed £2.4 billion per year in revenues, assuming that the plant delivers the planned reliability, leading to a net subsidy of about £1.4 billion per year (subject to prevailing market and financial conditions).

Given an expected capital cost of around £18 billion, and construction period of around 8-10 years, the yield for the construction consortium will be extremely generous provided that the plant performs (around 10% per year over the construction + contract period). However, this return is quite sensitive to delays, it's down to about 8% in the event of a 2 year delay and pro-rata cost overrun (but still generous for plausible levels of delay, given that this is the 4th plant of this design to be built in the world, so most of the kinks have already been worked out, or are at least known).

Edited by ChumpusRex

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What value in electricity will it generate each year?

10% of UK electricity demand.

The contract expires 35 years after the scheduled operation date. If the plant is delivered late, the contract does not provide an automatic extension.

And, seeing as they've not completed a EPR yet (out of 4 attempted) and that the first attempts are now running 9 years late (and counting) this might be a useful concession.

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Don't forget that reactors have traditionally had other uses other than electricity production varying from medical and industrial isotopes to military.

By 2030 Hinkley C will possibly be the only reactor operational in the UK unless trumped by the 3.4MW Moorside 3 x AP1000s being proposed for Sellafield that are half the price of Hinkley C.

On paper Hinkley C is appaling value for money and there simply must be some other driver behind the governments obsession with the completely operationally unproven design.

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On paper Hinkley C is appaling value for money and there simply must be some other driver behind the governments obsession with the completely operationally unproven design.

The government want a new nuclear power plant, because it's the only realistic way to achieve carbon reduction targets.

The problem has been that only the EPR design is mature enough and far enough along the regulatory review that construction could realistically proceed.

The AP1000 plants have stalled for a while in review, as the vendor (Toshiba) has concentrated on building several plants in the US and dealing with the US regulator. While AP1000 generic design assessment is proceeding, the HSE have asked for substantial changes and extensive additional documentation to defend design decisions, and it is likely still a few years off before generic design approval could be obtained.

Hitachi also applied with their latest reactor, called ESBWR. But after a few years in the regulatory pipeline, they decided that they would not be able to convince the HSE to sign off on it. So, they withdrew the application, and reapplied with their last generation reactor called ABWR (of which there are several operating in Japan). Although many years behind in the regulatory pipeline, the ABWR application is likely to be more streamlined than anything else, because there is real operational experience with the exact same plant design.

Light water power reactors are also nearly totally unsuited to any kind of non-power use. They are not a useful source for medical isotopes, or military proliferation. The old graphite moderated reactors, particularly the magnox reactors, are much better suited to providing non-power products (because you can access the reactor during operation, to insert specific raw materials, or remove only "lightly toasted" uranium for production of medical technetium or military plutonium). Because accessing a light water reactor is a multi-week process, necessitating a shut down of power operations, and fuel cycles are very long, typically 18-24 months between refuelling, any non-power use would require substantial sacrifice of power production. Short lived isotopes like medical isotopes, will have decayed away before you can get access to them. Any uranium in the reactor has been thoroughly incinerated, and is so radioactive that it is near impossible to handle, and any plutonium produced is hopelessly degraded in quality making it unsuitable for weapons.

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Probably nerves over whether it is a big vote looser or not and in which marginal seats.

Thanks to the guardian for the cartoon

.....of course you are a Guardian reader ...the BBC's daily lefty bible....the issue here is arranging the finance for both the builder and the high cost per unit compared to the world market cost for the tax payer....both Labour and the Tories fudged the issue over the past decade......it may be too late to look for an alternative solution .... :rolleyes:

Edited by South Lorne

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Interesting to look at demand for electricity in France See link here

Although so heavily reliant on nuclear there are 2 things which occur to me;

1) there is some load following ie adjustment to demand by nuclear sources

2) there is a surprising amount of diversification of supply.

Also surprised in research to find that we are not buying electricity from France when we need it most - ie peak supply but rather when demand is low and therefore electricity from France is cheap. Link here (admittedly from 2011).

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Government drags its feet. Over this, and over tidal energy, the renewable resource that isn't at the mercy of fickle weather, and that is particularly super-abundant in the UK.

Last person out, it'll be superfluous to turn the lights out.

Or perhaps it's all about bullying us all into loving fracking?

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Or perhaps it's all about bullying us all into loving fracking?

This. After Fukushima, the people aren't exactly crying out for more nuclear power in the neighbourhood. Maybe govt think now they'll stop getting in the frackers' way.

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My biggest problem with Hinkley is that in just 60 years we've gone from the first country to implement civilian nuclear power to having to bribe (with a ridiculous guarantee of 3x the current wholesale electricity price) the French and Chinese governments in order to keep the lights on.

What happened to our domestic nuclear expertise? As usual anything of any actual use has been privatised and financialised into oblivion.

Our expertise in this field is mostly resident now in the Bide-a-Wee Old Peoples Home

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Regardless of the terms of the contract, any private entity providing 10% of UK electricity demand will be able to blackmail the government of the day when it gets into trouble.



...and they told us the banks were to big to fail.


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surely a program to subsidise micro combined heat power installations nationally, in conjunction with minimum insulation upgrade requirements would not only reduce energy consumption, decentralise power generation, create more jobs for longer and be more efficient? £18bn would susidize a lot of 4-5kw mCHP domestic plants to replace current stock, even at £8-10k per installation.

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We should have got Russia to build this. Guarantee the price would have been more reasonable, they could build it more quickly, and they are world leaders in building reactors and reactor technology.

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There's a surprise, delays to one of the few big developments that actually sounds worth doing (even with our ability to make things cost a thousand times more than necessary and still end up with something that seems cheap and nasty).

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At 10% p.a return why are the population not offered investment bonds to purchase? Also this would've been a fantastic investment for our much maligned state pension schemes? Why is it only the Chinese that get to benefit?

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