Hinkley Point C Project

What is Hinkley Point and why is it important. (September 2016) The proposed new plant, known as Hinkley Point C, will be built next to two existing facilities, Hinkley Point A and B, and is set to begin generating electricity in 2025. But critics are still warning against escalating costs and the implications of nuclear power plants being built in the UK by foreign governments. For the UK, it will deliver 7% of our electricity when most other nuclear power stations will have closed down. The French want it built because it furthers their international nuclear ambitions. Despite setbacks in projects in Finland and Flamanville in northern France, Hinkley provides a showcase to export their reactor technology around the world. The Chinese, via the CGN group, have committed to one-third of the £18bn cost, in order to get a foothold in Western Europe. The Hinkley deal also involves the Chinese taking a stake in a new project at Sizewell and the possibility of building their own reactors at Bradwell in Essex. link



  • Delays
  • Cost
  • Opposition  

June 2017: Hinkley Point C is £1.5bn over budget and a year behind schedule. The UK’s first nuclear power station for more than two decades is at least £1.5bn over budget and could be completed 15 months behind schedule, its developer has admitted. French state-owned EDF said the cost overrun for two new reactors at Hinkley in Somerset could hit £2.2bn, taking the total spend to £20.3bn, up from £18bn previous.  link March 2017: UN asks UK to suspend work on Hinkley Point. link  

May 2016: Further Hinkley Point problem. The British government has run into a major new problem with its nuclear project, with a UN committee ruling that the UK failed to consult European countries properly over potential environmental risks. link  

(June 17 2016: Latest glitch – EDF’s top managers tell MPs that Hinkley Point should be postponed – linkThe French and Chinese companies building the £18bn Hinkley Point C  power station will have to pay up to £7.2bn to dismantle and clean it up, incorporating the price into the fees. link    


December 2017: The world’s most expensive power plant. Hinkley Point is the biggest building site in Europe. Taking up 430 acres of muddy fields scattered with towering cranes the first new nuclear power station in the UK since 1995 is slowly taking shape. When it is finally completed it will be the most expensive power station (at £20.3bn) in the world. The project was first proposed almost four decades ago, and its progress has been glacial, having faced relentless opposition from politicians, academics and economists every step of the way. Some critics of the project have questioned whether Hinkley Point C’s nuclear reactor will even work. It is a new and controversial design, which has been dogged by construction problems and has yet to start functioning anywhere in the world. Some experts believe it could actually prove impossible to build. link

June  2017: Spending watchdog condemns ‘risky and expensive’ Hinkley Point. A damning report says generations of British consumers have been locked into a “risky and expensive” project by the subsidy deal for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Also, Brexit and the decision to quit an EU nuclear treaty could make the situation even worse, by triggering taxpayer compensation for EDF or a more generous deal for the French state-controlled company. The total costs to consumers for the 35-year deal ballooned from £6bn in 2013 to £30bn now. link 

August 2016: Hinkley Point nuclear update: The government’s own projections show solar and wind power will be cheaper than new nuclear power by the time Hinkley Point C is completed. link

July 2016: Hinkley Point cost rises to £37bn. The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn ($48bn), according to an assessment published by UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14bn. link

March 2016: Hinkley Point C nuclear deal contains £22bn ‘poison pill’ for taxpayer – link


September 2016: Critics slam out of date, flawed and expensive technology. Campaigners and politicians warn it could cost UK tax-payers up to £30bn over the project’s lifetime. link 

September 2015: UK nuclear supporters now oppose new construction. Three leading environmentalists who broke ranks to give their support to a new generation of nuclear plants have now urged the government to scrap plans for Hinkley Point C. saying the soaring cost and delays to the project leave ministers with no option but to pour the estimated £24.5bn worth of investment into other low-carbon technologies. link
George Monbiot: “We are pro-nuclear, but Hinkley C must be scrapped” – link)