Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn should be commended in opposing and Prime Minister Theresa May should be commended in showing caution and wisdom in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. There are so many causes for concern in these proposals. Hinkley Point C should not proceed at any cost and there should be thorough, clear and sober assessment.
The proposed Hinkley Point C reactors (2 of them) are a new and unproven design of reactor, the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR). EPRs are a form of Pressurised Water Reactor.
The four EPRs already being built have all experienced construction problems and are all uncompleted, over-budget and delayed by years.
Four EPR units are under construction. The first two, in Finland and France, are both facing costly construction delays (to at least 2018). 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 to come online in 2017.
Olkiluoto 3 in Finland was scheduled to go online in 2009. It is currently expected to start operation in 2018. source It is hugely over-budget. source
Flamanville 3 in France was due to start operation in 2012. It is currently delayed until late 2018. source
These dates of 2018 should be regarded as optimistic spin likely to be superseded with later dates.
Flamanville‘s lid and base to the reactor vessel are flawed and below the required standard, weakened by excessive carbon content in the steel. There are suggestions that the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) may require that the vessel is replaced or even that the project is abandoned.
Areva aware ‘as early as 2006’ of serious fault in nuclear reactor destined for UK
UPDATE 2-French regulator delays decision on EDF Flamanville reactor to end-2016