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UK expected to approve EDF’s Hinkley nuclear reactors

Energy Secretary Ed Davey presumed to agree to first new reactors in the UK in a generation

UK expected to approve EDF's Hinkley reactorsAfter a stall in moving forward over subsidies negotiations, Energy Secretary Ed Davey is expected to give EDF the green light to start construction on the first of two planned nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Supporters of the EDF reactors say this is a huge step toward the UK meeting its legally binding commitments to low-carbon energy. The reactors also create thousands of construction jobs and secures another hundreds of jobs for decades to come.

However, those opposed to the plant, such as Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven, call the plan “bad news”:

“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.

“Giving it the green light when there is no credible plan for dealing with the waste could also be in breach of the law. The Prime Minister has said himself that until the waste issue is sorted, no new investment is possible.”

The price of nuclear

Despite the push for Britain to reduce its carbon emissions, many oppose focusing strictly on nuclear energy. Instead, there is a call for diverse energy sources that are clean and affordable.

In February, Paul Massara, CEO to npower ‘s parent company RWE, spoke out against a “blank cheque” approach to funding nuclear projects.

“We are very concerned that decisions currently being taken around guaranteed revenue from new nuclear power stations in return for their delivery could force the next three generations of British consumers to pay an unexpected and perhaps unnecessarily high bill for the next 40 years, especially given the track record of delivery of nuclear power stations.”

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