Centrica abandons nuclear plans

Centrica has decided to pull out of the UK's nuclear new build programme and will not take part in the construction of up to four new reactors, the firm announced.

Environmentalists: New nuclear is 'economic nightmare'

The environmental network Friends of the Earth has responded to Centrica's pullout of the UK's nuclear rebuilding programme, saying new power plants would be a "waste of money":

The nuclear dream is becoming an economic nightmare. Centrica's decision to pull out of building new reactors is further evidence of the escalating cost of this form of energy.

Billions of pounds of taxpayers' money has already been spent trying to deal with the nuclear industry's toxic legacy and billions more will be wasted if we press ahead with new nuclear power plants.

Ministers must focus on the real solutions to the energy challenges we face - slashing energy waste and developing the enormous potential for safe, clean British energy from the wind, waves and sun.

– Friends of the Earth's Andrew Pendleton

Centrica pullout gives government a policy problem

by - Former Business Editor
EDF
EDF is the major investor in new nuclear Credit: PA

EDF says it "respect Centrica's decision" to pull out of new nuclear.

It says the Contract for Difference - in other words, indirect subsidy - is the key to getting new builds.

Centrica pulling out certainly puts more pressure on the government to sweeten the deal for EDF and other potential investors in new nuclear.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change insists the Centrica decision is "nothing to do with government policy". It certainly gives them a policy problem though.

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Centrica: Nuclear deal 'not right' for us

Centrica has released a statement saying increasing costs and delays prompted the company to abandon plans to partner EDF in a UK nuclear rebuilding programme:

Since our initial investment, the anticipated project costs in new nuclear have increased and the construction timetable has extended by a number of years.

"These factors, in particular the lengthening time frame for a return on the capital invested in a project of this scale, have led us to conclude that participation is not right for Centrica and our shareholders.

– Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica