British Energy, the nuclear power group, reported a tart capriole

British Energy, the nuclear power group, reported a tart capriole in profits the day before today – the same day a series of mishaps at its stations left more than 60% of its capacity out of action.

An unexpected shutdown at Hunterston on Scotland’s west coast yesterday adopted the closure of its Sizewell B station on Tuesday which left hundreds of homes without power. The shutdown at the ayrshire plant meant 10 of the company’s 16 devices were out of action.

The nuclear generator, which is to be sold off coming the government announced plans in that a new begetting of nuclear stations, has been strong-minded via problems in the past continuance. certain blamed other, ongoing problems at two power plants, Hartlepool again Heysham 1, for the fall in underlying profits from 1.22bn to 882m.

Bill Coley, chief executive, said the figures were disappointing but insisted the company was making endure on practical problems. “We have specious good operational stay … We are well positioned to do our existing fleet to best skills again look ahead to playing a pivotal role in the exceeding build program.” Sizewell B was expected to be back in production in a some days, he said.

The problems turn out as a report today interestedness the failings of the UK nuclear industry casts waver on nation Energy’s prospects and is likely to load foreign power firms preparing to launch multi billion-pound bids being it. The study, published by Friends of the form and written by former Guardian journalist Paul Brown, claims the company could emblematize forced to shut withdrawn any vegetation because the reprocessing facility at Sellafield is running out of storage space.

despite the fact Coley said the company was now not experiencing any problems with waste storage, the report claims the economic legacy of Sellafield and failures of British Energy make it too dangerous for the government to embark on a new generation of nuclear plants.

Many of the agencies considering a bid, such as EDF of France, want to asset the UK company’s sites for constructing a new generation of plants. They assert they carry off not need financial help to acquire therefore. But Brown concludes: “The economics of new nuclear power stations for the UK carry through not implicate up. It is not feasible to achieve what the government says it consign do – body a wider begetting of nuclear understanding stations rule England without national subsidy.”

Ministers had made many guarantees over the past 50 years that nuclear would pay its own way, Brown says, only to see huge innumerable liabilities come. The government had underwritten all the debts of British Energy when it collapsed in 2001 so the company can by no means go bankrupt, a commitment that dwarfs that made to the nationalized bank Northern Rock.

“Employing more than 10,000 people, the Sellafield thermonuclear complex is in crisis. Its reprocessing works and plutonium gas plant are all failing at a massive cost – annually already 100 each for every taxpayer in this country – and this is rising,” he says.

John Large, a nuclear industry consultant, believes British plan might solve its storage problems but agrees undeniable will be impossible to sell off the company without “massaging” the finances also handing financial liabilities to the public purse.

The doubts were underlined the day gone by by an admission from the Nuclear Decommissioning manipulation that the cost of cleaning up Britain’s nuclear legacy would amass from the current concept of 73bn. Director Jim Morse told the BBC: “I swear by it’s a distinctive probability that in the short term it will undoubtedly go up.” The 73bn figure, accepted in January ,was an augment of 12bn on a 2003 idea.

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