Picked a poor week to be away as regards energy news, and top of the list must be the decision of RWE and our old friend E.on not to proceed with the two nukes they were slated for in Huhne's masterplan of ten.
Budge will no doubt be sad and angry in equal measure but, well what did anyone expect of this pair of cash-strapped players from the land that has just turned its back on nukes altogether ? The surprise was that they carried on with the pretence for so long.
Likewise, it's mildly odd that the other equally cash-strapped nuclear pairing of Gaz de France / Suez and Iberdrola (Spain) are still ploughing on as if there is anything likely to come of it. If the French government is, for whatever reason (perhaps having its palm crossed with UK electricity customer's gold), inclined to underwrite a UK project, the vehicle will be EDF - with or without Centrica.
We are not too far from the point where the government will need to signal a headlong dash for gas. The power industry is poised to respond, with already-permitted sites ready to go: it always knew this was a highly plausible scenario, if not outright inevitable. The UK system of granting consents for new power plants involves a 5-year 'free option' to build (well, not quite free, but almost), so they get their planning permission in early, and see what happens.
It's not just the government that seems surprised and hurt. Gorgeous pouting Caroline Flint is 'disappointed'; and the would-be re-born UK nuclear industry (mostly the civil engineering bit of the supply chain, we can't do much else these days) is appalled - "it's a total train wreck". They have been led a merry dance by government and 'nuclear developers' alike, and can see it all coming to naught. But - he who would live by the subsidy must reckon to perish too, when the situation's inherent flaws become too much for the dreamers to bear. Put not thy faith in subsidies.