March 22, 2011
nuclear crisis 'won't hold up Hinkley expansion' says EDF
firm EDF Energy has said this week that Japan's nuclear crisis
is unlikely to significantly delay its plans to expand its Hinkley
Point power station near Burnham-On-Sea.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne last week asked chief nuclear inspector
Mike Weightman to review the safety of nuclear power and hinted
that the Government could back away from its use.
There had been concerns that a major safety review sparked by
events in Japan could slow down Britain's nuclear plant rebuilding
programme, affecting the creation of new jobs.
However, senior executives at EDF say they are confident they
will still complete the projects at Hinkley Point and Sizewell
virtually on schedule, according to the national media reports
They said they have received 'signals' from the Government that
the crisis would delay Britain's nuclear programme by a couple
of weeks at the most.
EDF boss Vincent de Rivaz said while the industry needs to learn
lessons from the disaster in Japan, it should not delay its progress.
"It is totally right that the nuclear incident unfolding
at the moment should trigger so much attention and concern. The
events in Japan do not change the need for nuclear in Britain.
The critical task in front of us today is to deliver a secure,
clean and affordable energy mix," he said.
Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was damaged by the earthquake
and tsunami and has been close to meltdown. It has also leaked
Protest group Stop Hinkley last week called for the whole Hinkley
expansion programme to be axed following the incident, as reported