Scientists tell MPs government is using expensive power project to cross-subsidise military by maintaining nuclear skills
The government is using the “extremely expensive” Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to cross-subsidise Britain’s nuclear weapon arsenal, according to senior scientists.
In evidence submitted to the influential public accounts committee (PAC), which is currently investigating the nuclear plant deal, scientists from Sussex University state that the costs of the Trident programme could be “unsupportable” without “an effective subsidy from electricity consumers to military nuclear infrastructure”.
Prof Andy Stirling and Dr Phil Johnstone from the Science Policy Research Unit at the university write that the £19.6bn Hinkley Point project will “maintain a large-scale national base of nuclear-specific skills” without which there is concern “that the costs of UK nuclear submarine capabilities could be insupportable.”
Their evidence suggests that changes in the government’s policy on nuclear power in recent years will effectively allow Britain’s military nuclear industry to be supported by payments from electricity consumers.