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February 29, 2012


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An excellent article be Tom Burke.

Unsurprisingly EDF have just announced they expect another 7 year life extension on the 7 station, 7.5GW, AGR fleet. To everyone in the know this has been obvious for some time, and it significantly diminishes the claimed "generation gap". EDF obviously held this announcement back until now to help the political & media argument for new nuclear.

Although it is a bit troubling on the safety angle, because the AGR graphite cores have "issues", it does help DECC with the low carbon energy policy if the EPR financing fails. It gives them 7 more years to get renewables into place.


"EDF plans longer life extensions for UK AGRs


Seven-year life extensions are expected at all AGR stations including Heysham 1 and Hartlepool whose 5-year extensions to 2019 were announced in December 2010. These life extensions will be subject to the necessary reviews and approvals, EDF said.

A 20-year life extension has previously been announced as the strategic target for the Sizewell B PWR, and this remains unchanged."

Maybe worth a PQ to get DECC to list their current expected closure dates for the nuclear fleet?

EDF calls it "accounting closure dates", but in PQs this important distinction is normally lost upon the govt answer, being presented as a rather more firm sounding "Estimated closure date" - eg in House of Lords Hansard column WA232, 24 Feb 2005.


On the business leaders complaining about the 50p tax thing - I'm confused. They say it's harming the economy and is hardly bringing in any money for the Treasury. But if it's hardly bringing in any money, how can it be hurting the economy? And don't entrepreneurs have all kinds of whizzy ways to not pay it anyway, so why would it be discouraging investment? Maybe it's a sign of the standard of the financial reporting I have access to, or maybe I'm having a mental block, but I can't make head or tail of the arguments, let alone refute them. Help?

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