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>> Hinkley Point. Britain's first nuclear power plant for decades. A decision at last on Thursday from France's eDF power giant. An eDF board member quit ahead of the vote deeming the project financially risky. It's divisive on both sides of the channel, as Reuters utilities correspondent Geert De Clercq reports.
>> The fear is that eDF, by taking on too much debt, too much risk with this project, will actually jeopardize the future of the company. Already eDF needs to spend some 50 billion euros on upgrading its nuclear plants in France, which are all quite old, 30, 40 years or more.
It needs to also take over Areva, at least the nuclear reactor building part of Areva. And now on top of all that, it needs to invest in this huge project to build two nuclear reactors in the UK, for a total cost of about 18 billion pounds. But the French government considers that it's a bigger risk not to do it, because then the French nuclear industry would have no contracts for the coming years.
The contract that the British government has signed with eDF, specifies that British consumers will buy power from the Hinkley Point nuclear plant at about 92.5 pounds per megawatt, which is nearly three times the current market rate. So they're saying why would you sign a contract to buy energy at such an inflated price for so many years while there's so many cheaper options with renewable energy?