Saturday, 26 October 2013

Britain to Construct New Nuclear Plant After 20 Years

Going against the current European norm, Britain has decided to go for the construction of a new Nuclear plant, its first in 20 years. After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan countries like Germany opted against expansion of Nuclear energy and vowed to phase out its existing plants by 2022. Even countries like France, which source nearly 80% of their energy requirement from Nuclear plants ,have decided not to go for further expansion. The general perception in European society has also been negative towards Nuclear energy.
The British Government has signed $26 b deal with EDF (a French energy company ) to build two Nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C (Somerset) in Southwestern England (expected by 2023).Britain to Construct New Nuclear Plant  Nuclear giant Areva (French company – one of the World’s leaders in the sector) and Chinese firms – China General Nuclear Corporation (CGNPC) & China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), are also part of the consortium.

  • Proposed Stakes : EDF – 45-50% ; CGNPC and CNNC – 30-40 % together ; Areva- 10%
  • At present Britain has 16 nuclear reactors providing about 20% its energy needs.


  • Clean Energy : The deal is in furtherance of the Britain Government’s Energy Policy for a secure, reliable and low- carbon electricity future.
  • Job creation : Thousands of job will be created in France and Britain
  • When complete, the project at their full capacity, will generate 7% of Britain’s electricity ; enough to power 5 million homes.


  • Anti- Nuclear campaigners have criticized the deal and urged the David Cameroon led Government to instead go for safer and secure renewable options like wind and solar powe 

  • Electricity prices may jump as per the terms of the deal which will hit the British commoners. The deal incorporates a guaranteed electricity price per megawatt for the company which is much higher than current market rate. 

  • The consortium will charge a bit lower rate only if its another project – 2 new nuclear reactor in Sizewell (east coast of England’s Suffolk)- is approved. 

  • In case, if the market price for electricity falls below the guaranteed level ,government will have to pay the difference by means of levying surcharges on domestic energy bills. 

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