The Hinkley Point Nuclear power station complex in Somerset - as seen from Penarth.

The Hinkley Point nuclear power station complex in Somerset – as seen from Penarth this week.

Contracts to build a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point – on the Somerset Coast just 16 miles from Penarth – are not, after all, going to be signed today.

There are already two existing nuclear power stations on the same site:-

“Hinkley Point A” is an old Magnox station built in the early sixties which no longer produces power and is the process of being decommissioned.
“Hinkley Point  B” is a so-called “second generation” Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor which is currently in operation. Building work began on this station in 1967 and it began feeding power to the National Grid in 1976 .

Hinkley Point C will be a double-reactor power station

Hinkley Point C will be a double-reactor power station

Today a contract was due to be signed for the construction of “Hinkley Point  C”  – a  new double-reactor station which the French energy company EDF  won planning approval to build in 2013  . It is supposed to be large enough  to power 6,000,000 homes

EDF had a lot of trouble in putting together the capital of £18,000,000,000 to build the huge project. The Chinese are putting up a third of the cash. Ultimately however the scheme will be paid for by UK electricity consumers in higher energy bills .

EDF finance director, Thomas Piquemal, has quit his job – apparently believing that the project could damage the company. Another board member Gerard Magnin, resigned this week, saying the project was financially “very risky”  – but EDF pressed ahead.

Storm clouds over Hinkley Point

Storm clouds over Hinkley Point – just across the channel from Penarth

Having finally got ready to sign a deal with the UK Government, the French now find  their customer – the UK Government –  has gone cold on the contract and wants some more time to think about it  – at least until the “early autumn”.

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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Martin Coffee says:

    If the UK goes the way I expect after the divorce we wont be needing this power station so this seems to be a sensible delay. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was totally cancelled.

  2. Christopher David says:

    We have an energy (renewables?) expert here. Perhaps he could comment?

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    Saw Balmoral leave Penarth Pier and offered to give passengers a guide to local landmarks-Hinckley Point-new power station-on hold, barrage between Lavernock and Weston-kicked into the long grass,Tidal Lagoon off Cardiff Bay-in early discussion stage, walkway between Penarth and Cardiff Bay-too expensive-needless to say my offer was declined.

  4. Paul says:

    This is hot stuff…

  5. Christopher David says:

    I’m advised we need Hinckley! Experts please comment

    • Doctor David says:

      Obviously the person who advised you is either an expert, in which case, you don’t believe them, or that person is no expert, in which case, you can ignore them. If you don’t believe experts, then an expert will not bother commenting, and if you believe an amateur opinion that it is necessary, then you might as well ask anyone.
      I’m no expert, but I think it’s a complete waste of money. However, I find it difficult to believe you haven’t got an opinion ready and waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.

  6. Christopher David says:

    Absolute drivel DD. Anyone here know what they’re talking about? We have one chap who’s a director of an energy company for starters. The person that advised me does have experience in the sector and is a professional, but is no friend of the environment. I’m doing some reading but hey- often local expertise is far more valuable!

  7. Lyndsay Doyle says:

    If you’re going to decide which experts you listen to, and which ones you argue with, I’m not surprised they decline to comment. ‘You can play with my ball, as long as I win’.

  8. Tim Hughes says:

    I would prefer a two basin Severn Barrage scheme so that the timing of the generation didn’t simply follow the tide cycle. The problem with the lagoon systems is that they have a similar length to the SB with nothing like the energy generation and the generation timing is fixed. The problem with nuclear is that the energy generation is flat and are best solution for the waste is still burial.

    • Keith Inker says:

      Tim, assuming that the scheme you are advocating offers a high yield with a potentially less hazardous environmental impact than the nuclear option, how will your favoured project affect Avonmouth?

      • Tim Hughes says:

        I read the full report of the Severn Tidal Power group many years ago and have always thought that the smaller options whilst still good would spoil the opportunity to get the full benefit. Large schemes like this will effect the environment and it will change but I think it will change for the better. The change in the water tide cycle will simply be similar to that of a different new estuary geometry. The energy taken out of the water will cause sediments to settle and I believe a clearer cleaner estuary will result. Balancing the different environmental issues between nuclear and hydroelectric isn’t really possible. Issues about timing of supply and matching this to future energy usage is also problematic. Clearly ships entering Cardiff, Newport, Sharpness and Avonmouth will all need locking but I would expect the joining of Cardiff and Bristol to create a more dynamic productive region.

      • Keith Inker says:

        Having not seen the report to which you refer, can we assume that the scheme you favour would include another road crossing? I get an impression that this project you have mentioned might offer more benefits than just renewable energy. However, while that might indicate that the optimum position for harnessing tidal energy on the western side might be Lavernock Point, this would be particularly unfavourable as a traffic crossing point? I would welcome your comments on this please, Tim.

      • Christopher David says:

        Good questions Mr Inker.

      • Tim Hughes says:

        A two basin scheme requires a cross estuary barrage and then another running more or less up the estuary to create two equal sized ponds. The high pond fills at high water and the low pond empties at low water, generation then occurs between high and low with exact timing to suit demand. A road crossing could then go from Lavernock across to the barrage or even up to somewhere north of Bristol. When you consider the distance to the existing Severn Bridges, Lavernock is really no distance from Cardiff. Current costings for hydro are a lot higher than nuclear but I have little faith in the nuclear costs and many of these projects, like the channel tunnel, are, once started, too big to be allowed to fail.

  9. Christopher David says:

    And relative power generation for the various schemes? You’ve hunted but any simple comparisons? The latter appears the worst (environmentally) unless of course its the only scheme that can generate the power needed. Just for info an engineer tells me that several huge “solar farms” placed in several deserts around the globe could solve all the worlds energy problems. Problem distribution and terrorism that in fact go hand in hand. But we have to be PC don’t we. An economist says prima facia he agrees. Still Hinckley is the subject!

    • Tim Hughes says:

      These “huge” farms would need to be the size of Wales!

      • Christopher David says:

        Not that big then! Down to cost, distribution and security? I don’t know of course what the finite efficiency per sq meter is theoretically possible, but could that not improve dramatically with enough money and research put into development of the technology? It sounds rather attractive!

      • Christopher David says:

        Different climate Mr Torrie! Sarah looks brighter by the minute. Hey- perhaps you could try out solar vests. Should be very efficient 🙂

      • Tim Hughes says:

        I was really just putting some perspective on “huge”. I was assuming nearly all the solar energy was used so can’t really improve on that. So perfect weather, perfect panels and no spaces . Would also need a number around the globe. New thinking is all about distributed generation/usage so really going the wrong way.

  10. Christopher David says:

    Well, not you- agree Sarah Palin far more intelligent. So again, anyone with informed/educated and grown up comments. This is quite an important issues for our coast and town.

  11. Chris P. Bacon says:

    “This is quite an important issues for our coast and town”. Is this why you think Sarah Palin is more intelligent than you?

  12. Christopher David says:

    Are you thinking out lard x.

Comments are closed.