The French utility board EDF has voted to give the go-ahead to construction of Hinkley Point C, Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation. The board was divided in this decision (one member resigned prior to the vote), with the board voting 10-7 for approval. EDF is providing most of the funding for the project — the cost is estimated to be $18 billion.
From an article in the Guardian:
“The construction of Hinkley Point C will create an estimated 25,000 jobs, with completion scheduled for 2025. It will provide 7% of Britain’s electricity, enough power for six million homes, for almost 60 years”
One of the selling points of nuclear fission technology these days is that it is a carbon-free source of electricity, and as coal-fired power plants are falling out of favor, nuclear is seen by many as an environmentally friendly way to help keep the lights on when renewable energy sources like wind and solar are unable to keep up with the world’s hunger for electricity. Of course there are unique dangers that come with radioactive fuel and waste, and nuclear plants are very expensive to build.
LENR might be able to replace nuclear fission in time, but we are not there yet. I think it will take much technological development and widespread acceptance of LENR before we’ll be able to seriously think of it as a viable alternative to traditional nuclear power plants.
UPDATE: Thanks to GiveaDogaBone for posting the latest information in this BBC article which reports that the UK government has delayed making a final decision on the Hinkley plant until this autumn:
Contracts were to be signed on Friday.
But Business Secretary Greg Clark has said the government will “consider carefully” before backing it.
According to reports, EDF’s chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has cancelled a trip to the UK on Friday following Mr Clark’s comments.