Mr Redwood’s contribution to the Statement on the UK Nuclear Energy Programme, 21 October

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I welcome the decision to have more power capacity, which we greatly need. However, given the generous financial terms to the investors, did the Secretary of State consider the possibility of reserving some part of the financial investment and provision of capital for British interests? I am sure that many of them would like those sorts of returns.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Mr Edward Davey): First, 57% of the value of this project will go to UK firms, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman welcomes that. I do not believe that these terms are generous at all. We have had hard negotiations to get them down, and EDF realises that. Some of the benefits of the deal we have negotiated need to be held up in the headlights. There is the construction gain share, so that if the construction costs are lower, the consumer gains. If there is a refinancing by the investors in 10 years’ time from which they make a lot of money, the consumer will gain from that refinancing. That never happened with private finance initiative deals when Labour was in power; rather, the taxpayer lost out. We have the refinancing gain share for the consumer, and I doubt that would have happened if that lot had been in power.

1 Comment

  1. Alan
    October 22, 2013

    I don’t think all the costs to the taxpayer have been taken into account. So far as I am aware there is no cost ascribed to the implied insurance necessary to cover the expense if the plant has a serious accident. If such an accident occurs its cost will have to be picked up by the taxpayer. And the cost of disposal of the waste is not properly taken into account, since there is so far no agreed method of doing it.

    The nuclear industry seems to me to be like the banking industry – they will take the profits when things are going well, but when things go badly, either an accident or the inability to dispose of the waste, the taxpayers will be expected to pick up the bill.

    I hope the NAO highlights these omissions so that they get properly considered.

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