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Government under pressure to abandon plans to construct UK’s first nuclear reactor for more than 20 years via The Independent

Analysts at HSBC bank said in a report that the creation of the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset was ‘becoming harder to justify’

The Government is under growing pressure to abandon plans to construct the UK’s first nuclear reactor for more than 20 years, after a damning report into the viability of the project by financial analysts was swiftly followed by data showing that the legal bill has already exceeded £1 million.

Analysts at HSBC bank said in a report published over the weekend that the creation of the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset was “becoming harder to justify”, concluding that the energy produced by the reactor is likely to be too expensive and that there was “ample reason” for the Government to delay or cancel the £25 billion project.

[…]

Last month Amber Rudd, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said there was a “very good prospect” of the ultimate decision on the project being announced later this year. She told MPs on the energy select committee that the Government was still “very committed” to building new nuclear power stations.

But the former Conservative Energy Secretary Lord Howell of Guildford – who led Britain’s previous drive for nuclear energy under Margaret Thatcher – has urged the Government to reconsider the Hinkley project, which he described as “one of the worst deals ever for British households and British industry”.

He told the House of Lords that while he was personally “very pro-nuclear”, he would “shed no tears” if the “elephantine” scheme was to be abandoned “in favour of smaller and possibly cheaper nuclear plants a bit later on”.

[…]

Untested design: EDF shuns Japanese technology

If and when it is completed, Hinkley Point C will make use of two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs), which are being built in France and are supposed to be safer and more efficient than older nuclear reactors. The problem is that none have yet been built, so their record for safety and reliability cannot be tested.

For this reason, some have argued that tried-and-tested Japanese technology in the form of Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) should be used instead. Such reactors are already being developed for use at new  nuclear sites at Wylfa  Newydd on Anglesey and  Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

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