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To: Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Cancel the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor project
Please cancel the project to build two new EPR nuclear power reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Why is this important?
Hinkley Point C is a vastly expensive project which has a good chance of failing, at great cost to UK electricity consumers.
The model of reactor chosen for Hinkley Point C, the EPR (European Pressurised Reactor), is proving to be a technical disaster. Four are under construction in Finland, France and China and all overdue and over cost - the one in Finland is 9 years behind schedule. The cost of the Hinkley programme has escalated to £18billion and is likely to rise further.
At present, the UK demand for electricity is falling and the cost of energy on world markets is also falling. Renewable technologies such as solar and wind are also rapidly becoming cheaper and represent far better value for money if we wish to invest in low-carbon electricity production.
The Hinkley reactors will be funded by EDF, a company largely owned by the French government. Its finance director has resigned as he believes the company cannot afford the project.
In order to attract investment in the project from France and China, the UK government has guaranteed a unit price for the power produced which is roughly three times the current price. This will inflate the electricity bills of all consumers for decades to come. Since it is a Government decision, it is effectively a tax which we can in no way avoid. A government which professes to believe in the free market has rigged the market by promising the French and Chinese investors a large return on their investment. Any profits will leave the country.
Hinkley Point C is an infrastructure project that will end up as a white elephant. The next generation will not understand why we allowed such a grandiose project to be built. They will be left to pay the price through inflated electricity bills and to deal with the nuclear waste which the reactors will produce.