The British government has cast doubt on plans to build the UK's first new nuclear plant in decades with French utility firm EDF by ordering a review of the project.
There is fresh doubt over a massively expensive nuclear power station in Britain.
Just one day after French energy company EDF said it would take on the controversial Hinkley Point C project, the new UK government said it wants to review it, which will inevitably mean more delays.
Tom Greatrex, the head of Britain’s Nuclear Industry Association said he remains confident it will get built. He said he was, “slightly disappointed that we haven’t got a contract being signed immediately, but not disappointed in the sense that the government and [UK business and energy minister] Greg Clark have made a statement… making it very clear that he’s committed to new nuclear being part of the future energy mix for the UK.”
tomjgreatrex</a>'s interview with <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCBreakfast">BBCBreakfast on #HinkleyC and the need for new #nuclear → https://t.co/kZLRbhyIf3
— UK Nuclear Industry (@NIAUK) July 29, 2016
But Barry Gardiner, the politician who speaks on energy matters for the opposition Labour party, said this last minute review sends the worst possible message: “I do think it makes us look completely chaotic for investors in this country who are going to say look this government doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to major infrastructure projects.”
Tories in chaos over #HinkleyPoint. After negotiating bad deal for billpayers, May's shambolic move risks investment, jobs & energy security
— Barry Gardiner (@BarryGardiner) July 29, 2016
EDF, the company which just agreed to build the 21 billion euro nuclear reactors, was not told about the plan for a review before that was announced but said it has “no doubt about the support of the British government”.
Work is scheduled to start in mid-2019 but the plant’s start-up date has been delayed several times due to regulatory hurdles, the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and EDF’s deteriorating financial position.
— Kamal Ahmed (@bbckamal) July 29, 2016