Tuesday 22 January 2013

Nuclear Stand-off Hotting Up

The business pages of the Telegraph are a favourite platform for commercial vested interests.  De Rivaz of EDF has used them before to 'frame' the context of the farcical bluffing contest being conducted over what outrageous guaranteed price (and other ultra-valuable concessions) he can screw out of HMG for getting started on just the first of his 4 'promised' new UK nukes.

And here he is again, the little Gallic tease - 'framing' for all he is worth.  We must assume the 'negotiations' are at a critical juncture. 
"Almost all of the necessary pieces are in place. Our new build project at Hinkley Point is 'shovel ready' and only a few crucial milestones remain to be passed. ... Yet I am still asked – should the UK do it? And if so, do we have the industrial capacity and expertise to pull [it] off?"   
Careful with the 'we', monsieur.
"Just two more pieces need to be put in place. First, we await a final planning decision."  
I think you'll find that's a given, matey: this lot have long since bent over for the shafting.  Or do you perhaps want some sort of new environmental indemnity thrown in for good measure ...?
"Secondly, and, most crucially, there must be a balanced, stable and durable agreement on the price of the electricity generated. To be durable, this price needs to be fair and balanced for both our company and the Government."
 'The Government': how sweet.  What about the people ?!
"I believe we can reach an agreement with the Government which will transparently display the economic viability of new nuclear, and which can underpin a robust business case for investors. EDF is now closer than ever to being able to make a decision."
Ah yes, economic viability.  And while we are at it, tell us again will you, about the security of supply for all that uranium you get from, errrr, Niger.  Surely, a great age of eco-satire is upon us.



Demetrius said...

One of the great mysteries of our public investment programmes is the relentless pursuit of high ticket projects which will never cover costs and never in fact fulfil their promised services. Blowing in the wind and all that.

Blue Eyes said...

"We need infrastructure, this is infrastructure, therefore we need this"?

I have a really radical proposal*. Government designates suitable sites for major projects that nobody wants near their suburban bliss. Businesses are allowed to build pretty much whatever they like on such sites (subject to basic rules like pollution and safety). See who builds what.

* may or may not be original.

rwendland said...

Bet the word "transparently" came out through monsieur's gritted teeth in "will transparently display the economic viability of new nuclear". That's the only good thing about the new regime, we will all know (I think/hope) what the enormous price we are being shafted with is, unlike with previous UK nuclear developments. Also it can easily be compared with wind and other technologies.

I think in the end, the govt will wait for Horizon/Hitachi to be ready to build cheaper ABWRs. But there must be an enormous lobby upon politicians of all the UK companies "EDF Energy has invested heavily [in] to prepare UK suppliers". It will be painful to resist. Maybe, sadly, the compromise will be just one demo EPR at Hinkley.

Graeme said...

Just wondering how many Polaris subs it would take to power a city in the UK?

Blue Eyes said...

Graeme, not sure but if we are going to try it out I vote Birmingham.

Electro-Kevin said...

With his 'teasing' and 'framing' do you think De Rivaz has mastered the science of nuclear... frisson ???

Graeme said...

BE what's wrong with Glasgow or Newcastle?

Blue Eyes said...

Both good options, but neither get in the way of the English motorway network.

Nick Drew said...

EK - nice one!

Mr W - probably right: can never rule out 1 being built, but 4? 10 ..? can't see it

have to hope that the German situation precipitates a Big Rethink. 2013 could be the year of the rolling blackouts in S.Germany - and wider. Tragically, lives will be lost