LONDON (Reuters) – The British government said on Thursday it was assessing developer EDF’s progress in building the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant and reviewing costs, but played down a report that this was prompted by concerns over potential delays.
Britain announced a deal late last year with France’s EDF to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades. The project in southwest England is expected to cost around 16 billion pounds and start producing electricity in 2023.
The Times newspaper reported on Thursday that the government was carrying out a “secret review” of the project due to concerns over potential delays which it said had grown after EDF’s announcement of a new one-year delay in the construction of the same type of reactor in France.
However Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said the assessment was unrelated to EDF’s announcement on Tuesday about the Areva-designed EPR reactor in Flamanville, France.
“We constantly monitor investment projects to make sure they’re delivered on time and within budget,” a spokeswoman said. “EDF Energy have opened their books to allow our expert external advisers to challenge and verify the projected costs of constructing, operating and decommissioning the power station, but this is nothing new,” she said.
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