The future of nuclear energy in the UK rests with EDF’s bid to make Hinkley Point C viable, a key figure warned this week.
EDF Energy managing director of nuclear new build Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said the £16bn construction project needed to go ahead for the anticipated wave of new nuclear schemes to succeed.
The power giant is in talks with investors and contractors as it works towards a final investment decision on the Somerset plant that was first expected last year but could now be post-election.
Cadoux-Hudson said at an event in Westminster last week: “What I’m absolutely sure of is that, unless we are successful in making these next steps, it will be extremely difficult for anyone else to follow on in the UK.”
He remained positive that the scheme would go ahead.
“The unrest in large parts of Europe and in the rest of the world, the need for an indigenous source of supply, is a very important characteristic.
“I think that you’ll find that the marginal benefit of electricity greatly outweighs the cost for most people.”
The European Commission last October approved a package of measures to allow the UK government to subsidise the electricity produced at Hinkley Point C, and to guarantee some of the debt raised to finance its construction.
A wave of new nuclear plants has been called for to meet future UK energy needs. EDF has plans to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk, while NuGen’s Moorside plant in Cumbria and Horizon’s Newydd station on the Isle of Anglesey are also in the pipeline.