Hinkley nuclear plant gets the go-ahead

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Captain Haddock
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#1
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#1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37369786

So we're sending billions in tax payer money to the French government to build a power plant using French technology and French materials, based on a design that has consistently gone wildly over-budget in every country that has attempted to build one; has never been completed on time, and to this day has never produced a single watt of energy. Meanwhile the process of closing down our existing coal plants has already started, so what do we do when it gets to 2026 and the wretched thing isn't complete? Half a wind farm still operates at half capacity. Half a nuclear reactor is an £18bn, 1,000tn paperweight. And of course, supposing the thing ever does gets up and running, we'll be paying premium, above-market-rate prices to the French government for every MW we get from it. A terrible deal for the tax payer.

Privatisation is a disease.
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blue n white army
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#2
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I thought China/france were paying for it, so we're not actually sending billions of tax payers money to france.

I'm not technical person so i don't know anything beyond the headlines in terms of how the reactor does/doesnt work so i have no opinion on this. What i do know is that we desperately need to get some nuclear power plants up and running in the UK., i don't buy into solar or win as anything other than nice little add-ons. Coal is not a long term solution and we need to cut greenhouse gasses sooner rather than later.

This is the first of many i feel and i think there are others planned which could get off the ground more quickly.
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Captain Haddock
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#3
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(Original post by blue n white army)
I thought China/france were paying for it, so we're not actually sending billions of tax payers money to france.
Right, yeah let's forget that bit. Me being an idiot.
I'm not technical person so i don't know anything beyond the headlines in terms of how the reactor does/doesnt work so i have no opinion on this. What i do know is that we desperately need to get some nuclear power plants up and running in the UK., i don't buy into solar or win as anything other than nice little add-ons. Coal is not a long term solution and we need to cut greenhouse gasses sooner rather than later.

This is the first of many i feel and i think there are others planned which could get off the ground more quickly.
It's my belief that we should (shock horror) look toward fracking natural gas to tide us over in the short term while we invest heavily in developing renewable energy tech. Gas plants are cheap, reasonably clean and relatively easy to decommission when no longer needed. Distributed renewable energy sources are the future, and that's what we should be looking toward in the long term. Right now we've got a whole lot staked on a totally unproven design that could cost us dearly in the long run.
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KingBradly
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Captain Haddock)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37369786

So we're sending billions in tax payer money to the French government to build a power plant using French technology and French materials, based on a design that has consistently gone wildly over-budget in every country that has attempted to build one; has never been completed on time, and to this day has never produced a single watt of energy. Meanwhile the process of closing down our existing coal plants has already started, so what do we do when it gets to 2026 and the wretched thing isn't complete? Half a wind farm still operates at half capacity. Half a nuclear reactor is an £18bn, 1,000tn paperweight. And of course, supposing the thing ever does gets up and running, we'll be paying premium, above-market-rate prices to the French government for every MW we get from it. A terrible deal for the tax payer.

Privatisation is a disease.
Nuclear power is the way to go though.
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blue n white army
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Captain Haddock)
Right, yeah let's forget that bit. Me being an idiot.


It's my belief that we should (shock horror) look toward fracking natural gas to tide us over in the short term while we invest heavily in developing renewable energy tech. Gas plants are cheap, reasonably clean and relatively easy to decommission when no longer needed. Distributed renewable energy sources are the future, and that's what we should be looking toward in the long term. Right now we've got a whole lot staked on a totally unproven design that could cost us dearly in the long run.
That's fair enough at least your not one of those people who opposes all forms of energy production except the lonely windmill, you are atleast open to the idea of less popular methods such as fracking. I personally think nuclear is the way forward.

I would argue though that whilst it may be an unproven design, is that not a risk that the french/chinese carry? At the end of the day we won't start paying for this until it produces energy and they are able to bill us so if they end up building something that doesn't work then they have wasted £18 billion. Granted it leaves us in a hole in terms of energy production. Also with your idea of investing heavily in developing renewable tech there's no guarantee that it will produce a solution that will solve the problem, there is uncertainty to both sides.
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Rakas21
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Captain Haddock)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37369786

So we're sending billions in tax payer money to the French government to build a power plant using French technology and French materials, based on a design that has consistently gone wildly over-budget in every country that has attempted to build one; has never been completed on time, and to this day has never produced a single watt of energy. Meanwhile the process of closing down our existing coal plants has already started, so what do we do when it gets to 2026 and the wretched thing isn't complete? Half a wind farm still operates at half capacity. Half a nuclear reactor is an £18bn, 1,000tn paperweight. And of course, supposing the thing ever does gets up and running, we'll be paying premium, above-market-rate prices to the French government for every MW we get from it. A terrible deal for the tax payer.

Privatisation is a disease.
Technically speaking EDF is actually paying for the thing to be built (though government has guaranteed it adding yet more unfunded liabilities to the pile) and the reason for the design is that it will generate 7% of our electricity however your absolutely right about the minimum strike price being over double the average today (and since it goes up with inflation, to be a good deal in 2050 we'd have to see above inflation increases in other energy for the entire period). As a result of the strike price agreement and the small print (that the taxpayer pays the difference when grid parity is low - a subsidy) i cannot support this, to do so would be to willfully ask that all bill payers bend over and willingly be shafted.

The idea that a nuclear plant containing government guarantees, subsidies and a minimum price could be evidence of privatization being a disease is both absurd and amusing. This is evidence that government are picking stupid winners (nuclear) over the markets choice (coal).

Regarding the wider energy debate it's my belief that we should wait until Germany (a more populous country than ourselves) hits 75% annual renewable production before seriously investing in renewable (though we definitely should at that point). In the meantime i'd go for coal with carbon capture.
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Captain Haddock
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Rakas21)
The idea that a nuclear plant containing government guarantees, subsidies and a minimum price could be evidence of privatization being a disease is both absurd and amusing. This is evidence that government are picking stupid winners (nuclear) over the markets choice (coal).
That's sort of what I'm getting at, though. Privatisation of key industries such as energy is unworkable and full liberalisation of the sector would not provide us with what is best for us or the planet, so we've ended up with situations like these where we've lost our own expertise and ability to build key infrastructure and instead pay premium rates to other governments to do it for us, essentially having it nationalised by other countries anyway. The point I'm making isn't that our energy is truly private, it's that privatisation has been a costly failure.
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username2387497
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#8
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#8
Yes! Now i can launch a nuclear cow into the center of Saturn!

But in all seriousness, i think nuclear energy is a good idea.
Its readily available and its extremely efficient!
Plus its renewable so were not gonna run out of it.

I think this is a good idea!
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Studentus-anonymous
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#9
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#9
Good.

I'm sure the Earth-mother spiritual environmentalists will be gnashing their teeth but otherwise progress.
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ManiaMuse
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#10
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#10
I agree in principle with new nuclear but the UK government did manage to negotiate a pretty rubbish deal on the unit price and they are having a lot of problems and delays with the prototype EPR reactors they are building in France and Finland at the moment.
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MagicNMedicine
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#11
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#11
Nuclear energy is always popular amongst UKIP and right wing Conservative supporters, its only lefties that think that it is dangerous so why not build the next generation of nuclear power stations in Conservative areas, then their voters can be closer to the sources of energy and it might help raise their house prices.
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That Bearded Man
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Captain Haddock)
Right, yeah let's forget that bit. Me being an idiot.


It's my belief that we should (shock horror) look toward fracking natural gas to tide us over in the short term while we invest heavily in developing renewable energy tech. Gas plants are cheap, reasonably clean and relatively easy to decommission when no longer needed. Distributed renewable energy sources are the future, and that's what we should be looking toward in the long term. Right now we've got a whole lot staked on a totally unproven design that could cost us dearly in the long run.
Environmental issues still make fracking dangerous and any will still be private. Probably a "local residents get 1% off energy costs" scheme, we will never have a UK state energy supplier sadly.

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