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« Perry wants to 'make nuclear energy cool again' | Main | A reactor in Idaho could change the future of nuclear energy — if it survives Trump’s budget »

Warning over ‘risky and expensive’ Hinkley Point nuclear project

UK electricity consumers face paying £30bn above market prices, according to watchdog

UK electricity consumers face paying state-owned French and Chinese companies £30bn above market prices for a “risky and expensive” deal to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, the government spending watchdog has warned.

The cost of Hinkley could have been reduced by half or more if the deal had been structured in a different way, the National Audit Office said in a report that accused the government of failing to assess the project’s value for money adequately.

Britain’s exit from the EU — and the Euratom treaty governing the European nuclear industry — threatens to increase risks further. The NAO said withdrawal from Euratom could be interpreted as a change of law that might allow EDF, the French utility building Hinkley Point, to seek renegotiation of terms or even cancel the deal and claim compensation.

The findings will revive debate over Theresa May’s decision last September to approve the £18bn project — Britain’s first new nuclear plant since the 1990s — after the prime minister had earlier ordered a review of its merits

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