British Government Okays Nuclear Power Plant Construction

Written by | Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

While debate is still going on on the merits of nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster, the British Government has Okayed the construction of a nuclear station at Hinkley Point in Somerset (southwest) that will be the country’s first new nuclear station in a generation.
The two-reactor nuclear power plant will be built by a consortium led by French EDF Energy and including Chinese investors at a cost of $ 25.2 billion.
According to the joint statement by the British government and France’s EDF announcing the deal, the 3rd generation reactors will have a capacity of 1,650 megawatts and will provide power for about 60 years.
The government responds to the project critics that as North Sea gas resources are depleting and fuel costs constantly rising, nuclear energy is the only way to meet the people’s increasing needs.
“If people at home want to be able to keep watching the television, be able to turn the kettle on, and benefit from electricity, we have got to make these investments,” Secretary of State for Energy Edward Davey told the BBC. “It is essential to keep the lights on and to power British business,” he said.
After London-EDF talks about the minimum price the company will be paid for electricity produced at the site lasted for more than a year, the deal provides for a guaranteed selling price over a 35 year period. This price is equivalent to $ 144.1 per megawatt hour in case EDF also builds a new nuclear station at Sizewell (east). Otherwise, the same amount of electricity will be sold at $ 148.
The two parties explained in their statement that the price of the electricity to be generated by the nuclear plant will be competitive with the price of electricity produced by future gas plants as well as by other low-carbon energy sources. The future plant will allow British households to save $ 118.4 per year on their electricity bill by 2026 – 2030.
Although the project seems already approved by the parties, a final decision on the investment will not take place before July 2014. Besides, the project also needs to be endorsed by the European Commission.
If all the conditions are met, the nuclear power plant will be ready for operations in 2023.

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