The recent report by Steve Thomas, Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy which questions the viability of completing the nuclear development at Hinkley Point in Somerset without public support through the regulated asset base ‘nuclear tax’ on consumers, demonstrates clearly that EdF is massively in debt and unable to proceed with its new nuclear build programme with credibility. Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) supports the call by opponents to Hinkley C to abandon the project before a financial mess descends into farce.

EdF is financially compromised. Its income is far outweighed by its liabilities. Delays and cost over-runs on the three EPRs in China, Finland and France, huge refurbishment cost commitments on its existing domestic nuclear fleet, spiralling decommissioning costs and over-runs on the Hinkley project have changed the healthy financial picture in 2013 into a financial quagmire for EdF. The company now has to throw itself on the mercy of the hard-pressed UK energy consumers for a bail-out under the ‘regulated asset base’ (RAB) nuclear tax system whereby a levy on electricity bills is proposed to bankroll the company’s new build aspirations. Government has yet to reveal the results of the consultation on RAB. In December, the then Sizewell C Project Development Director, Jim Crawford, admitted to a Suffolk Community Forum that

“if the RAB model or something similar is proposed which will fall outside an acceptable price range for the government, then the project probably won’t go ahead. It’s as simple as that.”

Pete Wilkinson, TASC Chairman, said today,

‘Recent calls by a raft of nuclear cheerleaders arguing for government to press the ‘go’ button on new build are signs of the level of desperation those waiting to capitalise on the destruction of sensitive areas of the environment for the short-term benefits of huge and damaging construction projects which are redundant to our electricity needs.

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