May 2024

Hinkley Pointless – the Titanic of power stations?

The Government has suddenly got cold feet and delayed approving the construction of the Chinese/French nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Of course, as with all great projects there are cynics who question the wisdom of the whole enterprise. Some of the criticisms these cynics have aimed at the Chinese/French nuclear reactor include:

1. It’s ‘European’

The design is called the ‘European Pressurised Reactor’ (EPR). I think we all know that anything with the word ‘European’ in it will always be an utter and total disaster

2. Price of electricity

Apparently, in order to tempt the Chinese and French to build this thing, they will be allowed to charge an inflation-linked £92.50 a megawatt hour for 35 years, more than twice the current market price. British households and companies will probably pay about £30bn in subsidies to the Chinese and French operators. All profits will pour into the pockets of the Chinese and French governments.

hinckley point

3. It doesn’t work

Four EPR units are under construction. The first two, in Finland and France, are both facing costly construction delays. The Finland reactor is nine years late and three times over the original budget and almost as much money is now being spent on lawyers as is being spent on building work. The French one has similar cost and delay problems. Moreover, France’s nuclear safety watchdog found “multiple” malfunctioning valves in the French Flamanville EPR that could cause its meltdown, in a similar scenario to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US. Construction commenced on two Chinese units in 2009 and 2010. The Chinese units were to start operation in 2014 and 2015, but are now expected (ha-ha-ha-ha) to come online in 2017

4. Obsolence

The thing won’t be operational for at least ten years. By that time the technology will be obsolescent

5. Micro generation is the future

In not too many years we will have the technology to build large numbers of small nuclear plants at a fraction of the cost of a Hinkley Point. In fact,we already have the technology – it’s used in our nuclear submarines and could easily be adapted for use on land

6. Battery storage

Another energy breakthrough which will make Hinckley Point a white elephant is new battery technology which will allow homes to store electricity generated from the wind and solar panels thus reducing demand from large power stations

7. We already have enough electricity

We’re told that we need Hinkley Point because most of our traditional coal, oil and gas power stations are being closed down. But why are they being closed down? Because they’re too old and inefficient? Nope. Perfectly good power stations are being closed down to reduce CO2 emissions by idiot politicians who believe the ridiculous, politically-correct myth of Man-Made Global Warming. We are committing energy suicide while other countries are building coal- and oil-fired power stations at an impressive rate.


So, given these reasons and more, perhaps we ought to change the name from ‘Hinkley Point’ to ‘Hinkley Pointless’?

4 comments to Hinkley Pointless – the Titanic of power stations?

  • NoMore

    Let’s hope it goes one better and is sunk without trace.
    Perhaps the government could go full white elephant and run HS2 to it.

  • chris

    As a country and as consumers, we have been pushed and pulled in many directions because of various corporate lobbyists who just want to exploit us. We have lots of coal to exploit for jobs and energy but government departments (European and American)are full of industry plants and work for big oil or big power generators or middle eastern interests. So gove does not do what’s good for us but what’s good for corporations.

    There are a few good answers to power generation, hydro electric is, in my view, the best way to spend billions in the UK and leave a lasting legacy of cheap and instant electricity. It also acts as storage for wind or solar power.

    In the 70’s the CEGB planned more hydro electric locations as well as nuclear fission powered stations. What happened? Maggie (misguidedly) did.

    Both types of power generation are cheap to run but expensive to build. That was anathema to the likes of Standard Oil, (Rockefellers etc)who want to exploit us.

    If we do manage to leave the EU we will still need to get our own government back from Big Industry so that consumers call the shots and not industry ‘moles’

  • MGJ

    Sounds like yet another example of Fascistic economics, whereby big government colludes with big business to ensure the productive outsiders line the pockets of the unproductive insiders.

    The idea that a bunch of clueless government central planners can know what is best for the next few decades is utterly ridiculous. Just get out of the way and let a genuine free market make the decisions then either enjoy the profits or suffer the losses.

  • chris

    There will never be a free market while large corporations control the media, banks, energy, food production, alcohol,legal and illegal drugs, transport, crime, prisons, healthcare, politicians and government.

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