Nuclear reactor cracks cause capacity concerns
Pressure for new power plantsOlder nuclear reactor generate more than 20% of Britain’s electricity but more than half of this capacity is due to go offline by 2025. After a series of delays to new nuclear power plants, the government has come under increased pressure to find more nuclear capacity. But fresh faults in the current nuclear stock could reduce the amount of energy that Britain’s ageing fleet of reactors can generate, which would lead to potential supply deficits. Prime Minister Theresa May was locked in crunch talks on Thursday with the head of a Japanese conglomerate behind plans to build a new nuclear reactor at a site in Anglesey in North Wales. Fronted by Hitachi, the 2.9-gigawatt power plant project would help fill the supply gap created by other closures. But the conglomerate wants the UK Government to take a direct stake in the £27bn project as it is reportedly not willing to take on the full risk burden. EDF Energy, which is 83% owned by the French government, is also responsible for the faltering Hinkley Point C plant currently under construction on the Somerset Coast. This is another project that has been plagued by delays and spiralling costs, facing restless opposition from politicians, academics and economists.
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