Hold The Hard Line, Treasury – 2nd April 2013

On Tuesday, 2nd April 2013, london anti-nuke types demonstrated at the Treasury from 08.30 till 09.30 in solidarity with the Treasury and its hard line in the negotiations with EDF over the nuclear electricity strike price. The text of their flyer to Treasury workers follows:

Hold The Hard Line, Treasury.

We stand here today in solidarity with the hard-pressed Treasury and its
hard line in the negotiations with E.D.F. over subsidies and the strike price
for nuclear-powered electricity. Only the level-headed realism of the
Treasury stands between us and the 40 year abyss of paying double for our
electricity, paying straight to the French government.

E.D.F., who are 85% owned by the French government, are leaning on
the english body politic to get a strike price of £100 per Mw/h, fixed in
place for 40 years, guaranteeing them a return of 10% on their investment.
Mmm, wouldn’t everyone love a return of 10%, fixed, for 40 years. This
£100 is twice the current wholesale price of electricity, and assumes the
British government will pay for the decommissioning of the reactors, the
handling of waste, and the insurance of the risk. Even this ‘double price’ is
unlikely to be enough, as the EPR proposed is a retread of a shoddy design
from the 70’s whose price has shot from 3.3 billion euros to 8.5 billion at
the one they are building in Flamanville, France and from 3.7 billion to 8
billion in Finland, promised 2009 and now hoped for in 2016.

They want £100 per Mw/h, when on-shore wind is already, today, £80
Mw/h, and off-shore wind maybe £140 yet falling, (to be £100 Mw/h by
2020, according to DECCs Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force) as
nuclear’s cost is surely rising. Then E.D.F. would like the government to
pay any construction cost overrun, so its a win-win for them, leaving waste
that we must pay for guarding for thousands of years, and 60 years living
with another plant which, if it has a bad day, destroys a third of your
country. More expensive and more dangerous; only the brave little
Treasury stands in the way of this massive error.

A mere 198 years after Wellington’s squares held off the French assault at
Waterloo, why does this government propose to hand over hard-earned
British cash to the French state? We stand behind the Treasury’s thin hard
red line in its fight to see off this madness.

Japan has installed 1.1 Gw of solar in the last year, (EDF’s planned
reactors are 1.6 Gw each), China has installed 4 Gw of nuclear and yet 19
Gw of wind in the last two years. Germany has 32.3 Gw of solar installed,
increased by 7.6 Gw in 2012. Shows what can be done.

So we stand behind our Treasury, in this fight for fiscal sanity. And we
demand that its hard line be held, and that the rampaging French state, in
its guise as EDF, be resisted!!

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