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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 September 2016

Hinkley Point C: wasteful, dangerous and polluting

Flamanville nuclear power plant in France is beset by safety and funding problems, and uses the same untested technology as Hinkley C, photo by schoella (Creative Commons)

Flamanville nuclear power plant in France is beset by safety and funding problems, and uses the same untested technology as Hinkley C, photo by schoella (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Richard Worth, Socialist Party South West

Theresa May has given the go-ahead to build the 18 billion 'Hinkley Point C' in Somerset, the UK's first new nuclear power station in 20 years.

French firm EDF, with China General Nuclear, are guaranteed 92.50 per megawatt-hour of electricity. That's more than double the current price, rising with inflation for 35 years.

The National Audit Office says consumers will pay 30 billion through higher bills to subsidise EDF. A former Tory energy secretary described the deal as "one of the worst ever".

Hinkley C will be an unproven 'European pressurised reactor' (EPR) - nicknamed 'enormous problems to resolve' by the French press.

An EPR is being built at Flamanville, where France's nuclear safety authority found weaknesses in the reactor's steel. It's three times over budget, and six years behind schedule. 1,000 jobs have been cut to save 1 billion, compromising safety. In Finland another EPR is ten years late.

With falling UK energy production, Hinkley C won't be ready to meet the energy gap.

A nuclear power station isn't a green or sustainable energy source. Its construction is far more carbon-intensive than renewable plants. The ongoing mining and milling of uranium ore produces huge amounts of carbon too. And scientists believe uranium could start to run short in just 50 years.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress, welcomed Hinkley C for jobs. But this ignores the dangers and costs for workers and their families.

'Stop Hinkley' campaign spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: "The few permanent jobs Hinkley might generate aren't worth the exorbitant cost. Developing renewables will generate many more permanent jobs than Hinkley Point C ever will."

The Tories have cut subsidies to renewable energies. For the 30 billion subsidy to EDF, free solar panels to 7.5 million households could be funded. The power of Hinkley C could be provided by four big wind farms.

Private energy companies, interested only in profit, cannot provide us with safe, affordable energy. Only by taking them into public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management, can our needs be met with clean renewable energy.

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In The Socialist 22 September 2016:

What we think

Battle lines drawn: build a real mass party of the 99%

Socialist Party news and analysis

All Greater Manchester firefighters face sack

Hinkley Point C: wasteful, dangerous and polluting

NHS care rationing already rife

Bosses' bonus billions bonanza

Provocateur accusation against Met police spy

School sexism

Zero-hour zealots: Guardian and Center Parcs

Socialist Students

New Tory attacks on Higher Education - a programme to fight back

Socialist Students: setting out our stall...

Socialist Party feature

After TUC congress 2016: Mobilise the anger!

Workplace news and analysis

Thousands of Post Office workers strike

Film review - 'Blacklisted'

Tube strike over management bullying

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Libya: imperialist intervention helped wreck country and revolution

#JobstownNotGuilty trials begin

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Uncovering the class struggle behind the Rebecca Riots

Iconic nightclub Fabric closes doors - another victim of austerity?

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Socialist Party reports and campaigns

#KeepCorbyn campaign reports

"I've had enough - it's time to fight back"

Fightback is on to save NHS heart services

Tamil Solidarity demands refugee rights

Sheffield mental health services to lose council funding

Disgraceful decision to close vital Bradford day centre


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