However, the government's arithmetic on electrification of just about everything forces them down the nuclear road. So all attention will now be on what they will come up with for the remaining "prospects" (Wylfa, Sizewell, Bradwell) by way of a financial package. The counter to my negative hypothesis is of course that with enough government money you can indeed suspend the laws of gravity - for a time.
But one has to suppose the developers will insist it is up-front money next time. Which brings us back to Hinkley. EDF has certainly been beavering away - the civil engineering is moving along purposefully. But, famously, although the French screwed a handsome electricity price out of George Osborne, they don't get to trouser it until the beast is up and running. And never mind all that dredging, earthmoving and concrete: construction of the Hinkley reactors is nowhere near being started.
|Hinkley Point C: mud, concrete, but not much else|
In short, the sunk costs of Hinkley, whilst by now probably a couple of billion (they'd sunk nearly one billion before they started any work at all) would not be ruinous for EDF if they decided it wasn't worth the candle. Obviously, Plan B would be to steam round to our resolute Prime Minister and demand some cash, threatening that Plan C would be to walk away: seeing how *helpful* she was back in 2016, when Hollande wagged his finger at her.
Still, it's not clear this would succeed a second time, not least because unless they get motoring, the chance to browbeat May could disappear forever.