Tuesday 22 August 2017

Scope for Mischief Here

A document I would very much like to read is the baleful Hinkley Point contract awarded to EDF.  We've seen about 90% of it (as far as one can tell), and that was quite bad enough - but the really juicy stuff was redacted.

There is however someone who has a full copy (or perhaps full-er ...)  - in the European Commission!**
UK calls on EU to prevent leaks of sensitive information after Brexit: Demand for continued protection on departure highlights growing mistrust between London and Brussels 
We may get to see this document after all !

** they had to approve it, for reasons of 'state aid' 


Anonymous said...

I'm sure we are being grossly overcharged, but it's our fault for letting the British nuclear industry shrink to almost nothing.

We should have been building and exporting power stations constantly over the past 40 years.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

Why on earth the contract was agreed is beyond me.
From a Brexit view alone May should simply have told Mr Frog that the Govt was going to review it's whole energy strategy and put the thing on hold until at least 2020.
I am also convinced that the true reason the EU want ECJ jurisdiction after Brexit is nothing at all to doo with their citizens but to protect their commercial/state interests in rail energy and waste sectors. Which is also why they want UK to sign up to EU policies after that the break.
Agincourt archers sign.

Nick Drew said...

Anon - shrewd comments:
(1) the contract - agreed of course, & commented many times hereabouts: unfortunately, the first major sign of "May always buckles" which has served us so badly since - all Hollande (Hollande!) had to do was look very angry, make a couple of predictable threats, and Game Over
(2) protecting the assets - hadn't thought of that angle

Anonymous said...

We should have been building and exporting power stations constantly over the past 40 years.

Can't think of any Magnox/AGR UK designed plant outside the UK or any attempt to export it outside the UK - unless you know of one.

AFAIR it was something to do with the control of the spent fuel and the technology being used for other uses.

Anonymous said...

OT but good news, one month of public finance in the black!


Must be those 13,000 landlords in Newham who registered as landlords but not for self-assessment, then presumably got a letter from HMRC.

rwendland said...

Anon, there were two exports of Magnox: Italy (at Latina) and Japan (at Tokai). Both countries were quietly pondering at the time a nuclear weapons programme, and a single Magnox reactor, good for plutonium production, was a great approach to skills acquisition. All the UK commercial plants were of paired reactors for power production, so Italy and Japan buying singles is a clue that reliable power production was perhaps not the primary aim.

The UK second generation AGRs proved a complete nightmare to build, explaining the lack of exports and the death of the possible UK nuclear design and build industry.

The compact US PWR (& to a degree the BWR) design won out. Now dominated by the Chinese and Russians - though both of these are beginning to get worried about the economics into the future, realising if they had to find full-price non-government finance the economics look sour even for their lower wage environments. The South Koreans seem to be close to bailing out already, and the Japanese are in a post-Fukushima mess. EDF, well!!

The North Koreans built some Magnox-a-likes from plans made public under Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace programme.

Elby the Beserk said...


NK still needed the money to complete their nukes programme. Bill Clinton (who with Blair is responsible for so much of the shit we are still suffering from, tho' they be long gone) gave them money for aid in returning for shutting down the nuke programme, and NK of course used the money to complete the nukes programme.

So if you were wondering what Obama was doing with his nukes deal with Iran, just ponder the above.

rwendland said...

Elby, but the North Koreans had already built two and a half Magnox-a-likes before the 1994 Agreed Framework was signed, so they didn't get the finances from the US through the Agreed Framework.

As far as the PWRs that US/SK/JP agreed to build in North Korea as Magnox replacements, the financial deal was that the North Koreans would repay the cost of the build over a 20-year period after the completion of each PWR through a surcharge on the cost of the electricity. A bit like a modern Build-operate-transfer deal. Other than the transitional replacement oil aspect of the deal, North Koreans didn't get much that was near-cash.

As the North Koreans would become dependent on a fresh nuclear fuel supply from South Korea every 18 months for a very substantial portion of their electricity supply, as well as shutting down their plutonium path, the North Koreans seemed to be genuinely willing in 1994 to give up a substantial part of their security in return for a co-operative deal with US/SK/JP. I think it a great shame that opportunity was blown - look at where we are today instead.

Suff said...

Sorry ND but it will never see the light of day. This whole tit for tat is just the political scum covering its arse. The first demand for confidentiality came from the EU so the Brexiteers couldn't highlight to our neighbors, what a corrupt institution the EU was. The U.K. political response was, ok if you don't point out our involvement and keep the envelopes coming, we'll keep stum ( we know how that bath plug and duck house fiasco turned out and that was small potatoes). Remind me again, Kinock is sent to see the EU books and comes back with a top seat at the trough and a " nothing to see here. All very nice generous people"response