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Hinkley Point likely to be only new UK nuclear plant

Staff Writer |
The head of one of Britain's top utilities said on Monday that EDF's planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point is likely to be the only one to go ahead in the UK.

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Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive officer of SSE - an energy supplier and a former investor in new nuclear plants - said that nuclear power has a role to play in reducing carbon emissions, but that existing technologies may not be the right ones.

"The bottom line in nuclear is that it looks like only Hinkley Point will get built and Flamanville needs to go well for that to happen," Phillips-Davies told Reuters at the Eurelectric utilities conference in Estoril.

EDF is building the same type of European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville, France as it plans for Hinkley Point, but the project is years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget.

French nuclear regulator ASN is set to give a provisional ruling next month on whether the plant can start up as planned in 2018, despite potential weak spots in its reactor vessel.

"Technology needs to help to bring costs down, like in offshore wind. We need the same in nuclear," Phillips-Davies said, adding that reactor builders may need to look at smaller, more modular nuclear power stations.

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