Surrounded by a sea of broken rock and mounds of earth on the Somerset coast stands a small, unassuming sign that states simply “R2”. It is here that the second of two nuclear reactors will switch on in the middle of the next decade if all goes according to EDF Energy’s plan for Hinkley Point C, proving that Britain can still build new nuclear power stations and, more importantly, providing 7% of the country’s electricity. Only nine months ago the entire £18bn Hinkley project was at risk, after Theresa May ordered a review into China’s involvement. But since the French state-owned firm and UK government signed a generous 35-year subsidy deal in September, construction has started in earnest. The new reactors are being built adjacent to the existing Hinkley Point A and B nuclear power stations, on what was until recently green fields bordering the Bristol channel. Today it looks more like Mordor, from Lord of the Rings, a scarred landscape and hive of activity driven with a single purpose: ensuring these reactors do not repeat the delays and overspends on the other two European projects using EDF’s Hinkley reactor design, at Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland. “I… Read full this story
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