Liberal Democrats

F26: Emergency Motion: Nuclear Power at Hinkley Point

Bermondsey & Old Southwark and 21 party members

Conference notes:

  1. The decision by Electricité de France (EDF) on 28 July to invest in the construction of a new nuclear power station, based on the EPR design, at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
  2. The announcement by the UK government later the same day that it would delay its decision on whether to approve the new station until the autumn.
  3. Existing Liberal Democrat policy to accept that new nuclear power stations can play a limited role in electricity supply provided they can be built without public subsidy.
  4. That the coalition programme agreed between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives in 2010 contained the same commitment.
  5. That in autumn 2015 the new Conservative government explicitly dropped the commitment not to subsidise new nuclear stations, and announced a loan guarantee to underwrite EDF’s final investment decision.

Conference further notes:

  1. The conclusion of the National Audit Office in March 2016 that the additional cost to consumers of the electricity generated by the new station had risen from the £6.1 billion estimated in October 2013 to £29.7 billion.
  2. That since the government agreed, in 2013, a fixed price of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices) for electricity generated by the new nuclear station, the costs of many renewable energy technologies, including in particular wind and solar PV, have fallen further and faster than almost anyone predicted, and now represent much better value low-carbon energy options.
  3. That no working nuclear station based on the EPR design has yet been built, and that the two such stations currently under construction, in France and Finland, are both years behind schedule and significantly over budget.

Conference believes that the construction of the new nuclear station at Hinkley Point is both entirely
dependent on public subsidy and represents very poor value for money for UK consumers, and that
therefore it should be opposed.

Conference calls for a UK energy strategy resting on investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy,
storage and interconnection with European grids, thereby providing energy security, an end to fuel poverty
and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the same time as creating jobs, exports and prosperity.

Applicability: Federal

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