UK’s nuclear plans come unstuck – Centric

The Daily Climate 5 February 2013.

LONDON – The UK government’s plan to build a new generation of 10 nuclear power stations suffered another severe blow this week when the British utility Centrica pulled out of the program, writing off a £200 million investment in the process.

The chances of building any new reactors in the UK are fading fast.

To prop up the industry the government is faced with breaking two important electoral pledges and may face legal challenges that it intends to breach European Union subsidy rules in guaranteeing a minimum price for nuclear power.

With the French nuclear industry already in deep trouble over construction delays and cost overruns, the chances of building any new reactors in the UK are fading fast.

Shift to renewables

Centrica’s chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, said the company had pulled out because the project was more costly and extended further into the future than had been planned four years ago. Together with its partner, the French government-owned EDF, Centrica has spent close to £1 billion on the project and is now writing off its 20 percent share of £200 million, concentrating instead on renewables and natural gas for electricity generation…


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