Nuclear joker burning public Money
Nuclear joker burning public Money

The UK government it seems is desperate to burn public money, so desperate that it has made a deal with France’s EDF to guarantee more than twice the market price for nuclear electricity from the proposed new Hinkley C in Somerset.  This will be seen as a test case for further new nuclear build.

Too cheap to meter?   It really would be cheaper to burn money to boil a kettle!  At least there would be no radioactive wastes to look after into eternity.

The European Commission has begun a consultation looking into this extraordinary state aid for what should be a stand alone mature industry.  Extraordinary because every other sector of UK life is being ruthlessly privatised while nuclear, the one industry that should be responsible for itself is given the benefit of nationalisation – at the public’s risk and by the public’s purse.

This consultation will last for four weeks until Monday 7 April 2014 and provides an opportunity for third parties to contribute to the debate.  Radiation Free Lakeland will be writing and we urge others both individuals and groups to write to oppose this extraordinary state aid for an industry which ALREADY receives massive hidden subsidies in order to function (fresh water use, fossil fuel use, community bribes etc).

Please email your opposition by 7th April to:  

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have written an excellent response below.  Even if you pick out a few points from here and add your own words that would be great.  The more responses the European Union gets the better!

Nuclear Free Local Authorities /Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe Network / Stop Hinkley 

Joint Media release, 11th March 2014
The European Commission should reject UK Government deal with EDF for 
financing Hinkley Point nuclear reactors. It is illegal state aid and a 
distortion of the electricity market.

On the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, the UK & Ireland 
Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) have joined up with the Cities for a 
Nuclear Free Europe Network and the influential local Somerset group ‘Stop 
Hinkley’ (SH) to submit a detailed submission to the European Commission 
as part of its public consultation process. It calls on the Commission to 
reject the UK Government’s deal with EDF for the financing of two new 
nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. (1)

In October 2013 the UK Government announced a ‘strike price’ agreement of 
financial support and guarantees with EDF for the £16 billion funding of 
the first new nuclear reactors to be potentially built in the UK for two 
decades. The deal offered EDF a ‘strike price’ of £92 per megawatt hour of 
output (MWh) of electricity in a contract that would run for 35 years and 
be indexed to the inflation rate. The strike price would come down to 
£89.50 MWh if EDF also constructs two more new nuclear reactors at 
Sizewell in Suffolk. (2) 

The deal has to be authorised by the European Commission to determine 
whether it is a legitimate form of state aid to a utility company and 
whether it will have a negative effect on the workings of the internal 
energy market. The deal is seen as a ‘test case’ which will dictate state 
support for new nuclear projects being considered by other EU member 
states. The Commission started to scrutinise the agreement last year and 
its initial view raised a number of significant concerns. It has now 
updated those initial comments and has just opened a one-month 
consultation seeking additional views, before it makes its decision later 
this year. (3)

In its joint submission, the NFLA, CNFE and SH conclude:
1.      Nuclear power is a mature technology. Whilst there may be a case 
for subsidising new technology which can eventually lower costs and 
compete without subsidy, there is no case for subsiding a well established 
technology like nuclear power. 
2.      Hinkley Point C would almost certainly not go-ahead without the 
proposed subsidy. The operators are being offered a price for the 
electricity produced which is more than twice the current market price for 
electricity in the UK. 
3.      Renewable technologies will be unfairly constrained by the size of 
the Levy Control Framework funds available, the bulk of which will 
probably be used up by Hinkley Point C after 2023, despite the fact that 
solar and offshore wind are likely to be cheaper by then.
4.      Britain’s solar industry says it has the capability to deliver the 
same amount of electricity every year as is expected to be produced 
Hinkley Point C within 24 months and at a comparable cost. 
5.      It is medium sized solar projects (50kW to 5MW), which are likely 
to reach parity with grid electricity prices first in many countries, and 
therefore no longer require subsidies. Yet it is this size of project 
which is being particularly unfairly treated in the UK. 
6.      There has been a dramatic reduction in the UK Government’s 
ambition for offshore wind from 32GW in 2020, down to 10GW or less in 
2020. Despite the fact that several companies believe offshore wind could 
be cheaper than nuclear by 2020 or not long after, the UK Government 
appears to be planning to allocate the bulk of funds for available for 
energy subsidy to new nuclear reactors after 2023.
7.      Although it is not clear yet what the Levy Control Framework Cap 
will be after 2020/21, it is clear that new reactors at Hinkley Point C 
will use up the lion’s share of any funds available after the reactors 
open sometime after 2023. This is certain to unfairly curtail the solar 
and offshore wind industries, despite the fact that electricity from these 
two sources is likely to be cheaper by then or on a downward trajectory 
towards being cheaper shortly afterwards. 
8.      The question the Competition Commissioner must surely answer is 
whether the subsidies to Hinkley Point C are required in order for the UK 
to meet its energy security and climate change objectives? The answer is 
clearly no. In which case, is spending money on the subsidy the most cost 
efficient way of reducing carbon emissions? Again the answer is no - it 
would be better to spend the money elsewhere. Finally, does awarding 
subsidies to one form of low carbon technology constitute unfair treatment 
of other forms of low carbon technology which might be available from 
elsewhere in Europe? The answer is clearly yes.
9.      NFLA, CNFE and Stop Hinkley therefore call on the European 
Competition Commissioner to declare the State Aid which the UK Government 
proposes to give to Hinkley Point C as illegal.

NFLA Chair Councillor Mark Hackett said:
“I welcome the European Commission’s critical consideration of the UK 
Government’s exorbitantly expensive and competitively unfair deal with EDF 
to build new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. Our joint response with 
Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe and Stop Hinkley provides ample evidence 
that the proposed strike deal will completely distort the electricity 
market. It will also threaten the rapid and welcome growth in renewable 
energy and we argue it is not required for either our energy security or 
climate change objectives. I urge the Commission to reject the agreement 
as an illegal state subsidy.”

CNFE Chair and Deputy Mayor for the Environment in Vienna Municipality 
Ulli Sima said:
”The nuclear industry has had the chance to prove itself technically and 
economically since the 1950s. Never in industrial history has any other 
industry been so heavily subsidised, despite disastrous accidents, the 
lack of a backend waste strategy and constantly rising prices. New nuclear 
power stations are not a practical solution to our energy requirements nor 
necessary to face the challenges of climate change. Subsidies for such a 
mature technology as nuclear power will contradict the strategies for 
renewable energy, the Single Energy Market and the reduction of greenhouse 
gas emissions in the EU. I urgently call on the EU Commission to reject 
the proposed subsidy for Hinkley Point C as an illegal form of state aid.” 

Nikki Clark, a spokesperson for the Stop Hinkley campaign group said:
“There is no-case for subsidising an industry, which in over seventy years 
of existence, has never been able to survive in a free market and has 
constantly produced an insoluble problem - nuclear waste, with an 
essentially unknowable cost to all of society in economic and health terms 
into the far future. The Stop Hinkley campaign believes that this is 
unacceptable. It shows a lack of commitment from the UK Government to 
transforming our energy system. The UK and particularly Somerset can’t 
afford to sink under the costs of public subsidies for the government’s 
nuclear obsession. We call on the EU to declare the proposed state aid for 
Hinkley C illegal.”


  1. Reblogged this on Mining Awareness Plus and commented:
    The EU won’t let countries do anything for its farmers because it’s considered illegal subsidies. So, all EU citizens need to write and complain about this illegal subsidy of the nuclear industry on both the grounds of fairness and of world safety.

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