FT 2 June 2020

Financial Times: Plan for new UK nuclear plant under intense scrutiny (extract)

Proposal for reactor attracts attention because of Chinese role as well as cost. 2 June 2020


“One wonders — and presumably the Treasury is wondering — whether passing the burden of risk to energy consumers labouring under post-Brexit and Covid conditions may or may not be acceptable,” said Paul Dorfman, research associate at University College London’s energy institute.

Nuclear industry executives said if the government wants more large nuclear plants, it may have to take significant equity stakes in projects.

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, nuclear development managing director at EDF’s UK arm, said the company was not wedded to one particular funding model, adding “the most important thing is to get the lowest cost of capital”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said new nuclear “has an important role to play in providing reliable, low carbon power as part of our future energy mix as we aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050”.

But it added that “any energy project must offer value for money for consumers”.