Sizewell green light or hurdle marathon?

Not many champagne corks popping in Westminster or Paris after the ‘Green light’ for British nuclear projects from Brussels.

Until the full report is released in a few weeks time, what we now know is that Hinkley (and therefore Sizewell) would cost £24 billion, not £14bn each, while the strike price stays at £92. There is a new profit share deal, not for 35, but 60 years. Associated development costs are now reckoned at as much as another £10bin.

And, from contacts who have seen the full report from Brussels, we learn each site will have to make a separate application to Brussels. The expected European Court case triggered by Austria (they have problems with aged Swiss reactors) could take many months and there are already 5 energy cases to be decided involving similar issues. The old Euratom treaty also figures, in conflict with the newer treaties, so that’s more grist to the European Court’s mill.

Whatever happens, its means British electricity bills would be very high to pay for it all, because the massive subsidy would come from a levy on household bills, not the Government itself.. Except, of course, for those of us who would go none-nuclear for our fuel bills and refuse to pay any nuclear levy.

None of this changes the view that Suffolk would be a very bad place for a massive new nuclear investment. The campaign group TASC i(Together Against Sizewell C) is launching a recruitment campaign, with a new leaflet drawing together its arguments against Sizewell C & D.

What is clear is that while one hurdle has been crossed for Sizewell, this will be a veritable hurdle marathon !

R. Scott