Feeds

Blighty's nuke-power push stalled as EDF buy falls through

Pension funds affect all our futures

New hybrid storage solutions

The British government plan to build a new generation of nuclear power stations is on hold, after French energy giant EDF's bid to buy the UK's existing nuke base was rejected at the last moment. Reports have it that the deal fell through after existing shareholders in British Energy - thought to be large UK pension funds - demanded more than EDF was willing to pay.

The £12bn acquisition had been seen for some time as a done deal, with the full approval of the government. EDF, which is a major player in the mostly-nuclear French electricity market, was to take over British Energy not so much for its existing plants or expertise, but in order to acquire its nuclear sites. This would avoid much of the red tape, protests and legal disputes that would result from breaking of new ground, and EDF with its French experience would have little difficulty in doing the building.

Now, however, the deal - a vital precursor to the entire plan - appears to have foundered. A British Energy spokesman, quoted by the Financial Times this morning, said:

“Advanced discussions with a party have continued but without agreement to date. A further announcement will be made in due course. There can be no certainty that the discussions will lead to an offer being made.”

Dow Jones quoted an anonymous inside source as saying that “There was a last-minute hitch ... Two UK pension funds – big shareholders – requested EDF put more money on the table, and EDF refused. So British Energy turned the offer down."

There was some doubt, even with EDF on board, whether the new nuke plants could come on line fast enough to meet the government's carbon targets and tackle the UK's looming energy-security issue in a timely way.

Today's news would seem to indicate further delays at the very least. If in fact EDF has walked away from the UK for good, the only hope for the new-nukes programme will be a complicated alliance of several different power companies, some probably based in the US. In that event, even longer delays could be expected. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.