bid to block EU deal over Hinkley Point
Campaigners opposed to a new £16 billion nuclear plant
near Burnham-On-Sea have written to the European Commissioner
for Competition in a bid to halt the project.
Last month, Britain's first new nuclear power station in a generation,
to be sited at Hinkley Point, took a step closer when an agreement
was reached between the European Commission and Whitehall.
However, the news dismayed opponents, including the Green Party,
the Stop Hinkley Group and Greenpeace UK, who vowed that the fight
against the EDF plant would continue.
Stop Hinkley has this week written to Competition Commissioner
Joaquín Almunia, who is in charge of state aid, urging
him to reconsider and claiming that the subsidy deal had been
"stitched up without any sort of competitive process".
"Surely the job of the European Competition Commissioner
is to make sure taxpayers and electricity consumers
money is spent on the most cost effective measures to reduce carbon
emissions and provide energy security," Valerie Davey, the
groups treasurer, wrote.
"If Hinkley Point C had been subjected to a proper competitive
process it couldnt possibly have progressed beyond the drawing
board. There are many far most cost effective ways to provide
the heat and light we need in the UK at the same time as reducing
carbon emissions. Please urgently reconsider this decision, and
order the UK Government to subject the Hinkley proposals to a
proper competitive process."
"If you dont you will be allowing UK consumers to
be saddled with eye-wateringly high electricity bills for decades
The new plant is scheduled to be built at Hinkley by 2023. A
nuclear power station began generating electricity in Somerset
in 1965. When complete it is expected to supply about 7% of the
The Government has said £100 million a year will be generated
for the local economy during the schemes construction.
EDF is still finalising its investment plans. Major backing has
come from abroad with China General Nuclear Power Group and China
National Nuclear Corporation investing 35-40%, EDF Energy 45-50%
and Areva 10%.