Government to rip up nuclear rulebook
The Government is planning to write a "blank cheque" to the nuclear industry by underwriting the cost of new power stations, leading energy academics have claimed in a letter to The Independent.
Under a major policy U-turn being considered by ministers, the taxpayer would be left to cover the cost of budget over-runs or building delays at new nuclear plants. Costly setbacks are almost inevitable with such complex construction projects.
The proposals, which would break a long-standing Government promise never to subsidise the nuclear industry, are intended to reassure multi-national energy firms into investing in a new fleet of nuclear plants in Britain.
EDF Energy's plans for a plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset are considered the most advanced.
Last night environmentalists accused the Government of plotting to squander public money to protect the profits of energy giants.
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