Sheffield Chamber backs government review of Hinkley Point decision

29th July 2016

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce today backed the Government's decision to review the Hinkley Point nuclear power station investment go-ahead by French energy giant EDF.

Richard Wright, Executive Director, said: "We absolutely agree that a secure energy supply is critical to the future success of the UK and that must involve new nuclear capacity. But, there are a number of reasons why we are very nervous about the Hinkley Point solution. -Nearly all of the critical parts of the nuclear reactor, and some of the others in planning, will be made abroad which is not good for long term jobs in the UK, nor for our balance of payments. The high strike price almost guarantees much higher energy costs in the future and this will not be good for all our businesses as they try to build competitiveness in a world economy, said Mr Wright. He added: "A lot of work has been done on smaller modular nuclear reactors, much of it locally at the AMRC between Sheffield and Rotherham, and we believe these, in combination with wind, solar and tidal power, should be seriously considered. They have many advantages. They can be made in the UK, they have much better cash flow implications for the country, they do not need as much investment in our energy distribution infrastructure, and the costs and ease of future decommissioning are less. Jillian Thomas, President of the Sheffield Chamber and owner of Future Life Wealth Management added: "Strategically the Chamber has been lobbying for some time for a proper industrial strategy that addresses the long term and unsustainable trade deficit of the UK. We need to create wealth and jobs in the UK and protect our expertise and skills in critical strategic areas. There will need to be some immediate focus on the licensing of the modular units but we believe this is possible and we could have some operating before Hinckley Point is due to come on line."

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