The Nuclear Trap Film with Speakers and Panel

3:00 on Sunday 29 Sep 2019

The story behind EDF’s decision to invest two-thirds of the £20 billion Hinkley Point project, a forerunner for the Sizewell C EPR development, is the subject of Patrick Benquet’s film, ‘The French Nuclear Trap’.

TASC will screen the UK premier of this film at Leiston Film Theatre on Sunday 29th September. The film runs for about 70 minutes, there is free entry, no pre-booking required and the doors open 2.30pm.

"Those who champion nuclear energy view the world through an industry, the decline of which they refuse to acknowledge. The revolution of renewables underway in our societies is seen as an attack. They stubbornly maintain that nuclear power generates safer and cheaper electricity than all the other energy sources… Our film strives to demonstrate that not only is this argument wrong, but that it is concealing a disastrous financial reality: the bill that future generations will have to pay due to nuclear power is colossal. Each nuclear disaster (Chernobyl, Fukushima), by increasing the obligation for new safety measures, sends costs spiralling and results in the construction of prototypes such as the EPR, which is exorbitant and so technologically complicated that many engineers are now saying that it will never work."

Patrick Benquet


TASC have grave concerns about the financial stability of EDF and the safety of their nuclear reactors following the announcement earlier this month that more welding problems have been identified in its nuclear reactor components, triggering a 7% fall in the company’s share price on the day of the announcement.

EDF has been dogged by repeated problems with the quality of nuclear reactor components, including the previously reported faulty welds in its flagship EPR project in Flamanville, France, as well as anomalies in the records for manufacturing other reactor components at the Creusot forge. These add to the concerns about the suitability of nuclear energy as a safe source of electricity following the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. Despite EDF’s often repeated and wrongly claimed assertion that ‘the waste problems is solved’, nuclear power also faces a raft of as-yet unresolved issues – some of which are possible ‘show stoppers’ - of how to render some lethal radioactive waste safe and permanently isolated from the environment for thousands of years. There are additional doubts about the economic viability of new nuclear power as the costs of renewable energy plunges, highlighted by the recent offshore wind contracts being priced at less than half the price that EDF will be charging for electricity from the Hinkley Point C reactors if they are ever completed.

On 10th September the Financial Times reported,

EDF is engaged in a €45bn investment programme to prolong the life of its (French) fleet of nuclear power stations but must also invest in renewables and close 14 plants by 2035 as part of a push to cut the percentage of nuclear electricity used in France from 72 per cent to 50 per cent.

It must find the cash for all of that while carrying €37.4bn in net debt and roughly double that if some hybrid debt and its pension and nuclear liabilities are included.

The government injected billions into EDF through a €4bn capital raise in 2017, while the company’s previous chief financial officer quit over concerns about strains Hinkley Point, the UK-based power station, was putting on the balance sheet.”

Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s Chairman, said today, ‘It is now beyond credible that EDF can be given the responsibility to build EPRs in the UK. They are financially incompetent and the entire EPR programme – and hence the government’s nuclear energy component of its so-called energy policy – is in tatters. They face unresolved waste management problems, growing concerns about the health effect of routine radioactive waste discharges and mounting opposition in the east Suffolk area which faces devastation should Sizewell C be given approval. Time to dump nuclear and EDF along with it.’

Thanks to Dr. Paul Dorfman for his assistance to TASC with the film. CPBFILMS Paris for allowing us to Premier the documentary.



For more information email: girling491@btinternet.com


Leiston Film Theatre
74 High Street
IP16 4BZ