The announcement was made while the Chancellor was on a trade visit to China, who are investing in the project.
The French energy company EDF admitted earlier this month that the Hinkley project would be delayed, pushing back the start date of 2023. The plant was expected to cost £10billion but it is now projected to cost £25 billion and required financial partners to invest in the plant, in particular China who proved difficult until the Government stepped in to guarantee some of the cost.
EDF have permission to build two reactors at the plant which Mr Osborne says are essential to providing electricity when coal plants are retired over the next 10 years. It would be Britain’s first new nuclear power station in around 20 years and would provide power for approximately 60 years.
Speaking in Beijing at a joint news conference with China’s Vice-Premier Ma Kai, Mr Osborne said:
“Britain was the home to the first civil nuclear power stations in the world and I am determined that we now lead the way again.
“Nuclear power is cost-competitive with other low-carbon technology and is a crucial part of our energy mix, along with new sources of power such as shale gas.
“So I am delighted to announce this guarantee for Hinkley Point today and to be in China to discuss their investments in Britain’s nuclear industry.
“It is another move forward for the golden relationship between Britain and China – the world’s oldest civil nuclear power and the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear power.”(1)
He also announced a new £50 million joint research centre for nuclear energy. Paving the way for other nuclear deals together with the Chinese.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who is with the Chancellor on the visit said new nuclear power was “a vital part of our long-term plan to provide secure, clean energy supplies that hard-working families and businesses can rely on in the decades ahead”.
Earlier this year I wrote a blog on Trawsfynydd nuclear power station and how an academic paper written by an environmental scientist found that the plant may well be responsible for elevated levels of cancer found in the nearby communities. It also found that liquid discharged into the lake could have poisoned the fish; as those who had eaten the fish from the lake had their risk of cancer doubled.
Public Health Wales are still liaising with local teams in Trawsfynydd to find out if any cancer clusters have been identified.
Published after my article on Today’s Conveyancer is Nick Senior who used to work at nuclear power plants, he said:
“Before I worked with my present company I was an engineer and worked on several nuclear power stations both under construction and operating. I can confirm that the level of safety and concern for the public and the environment was very low. Every nuclear installation in Britain has experienced problems and leaks of radioactive material in to the environment. There have been several catastrophic failures of nuclear generating plants yet still environmentalists push for more nuclear power stations. When will we ever learn?”
Near Hinkley point are residential estates as well as the seaside resorts of Burnham-on-Sea, Weston Super Mare and Minehead who in the very near future will be able to see clouds of smoke rising from the chimneys of the nuclear power station. Who will want to live near there or holiday there if they think themselves or their family’s health could be affected?
With Britain looking to invest long-term in nuclear power for energy security and reports of another plant being built in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex you can be sure that we will be seeing billions of pounds being spent on more nuclear power stations along the coast of the UK, but at what cost to our health?