Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Generation Game [1]

Bruce Forsyth's Firstbus's Game Show
Hinkley Point is a headland on the Bristol Channel coast of Somerset, England, five miles north of Bridgwater and five miles west of Burnham-on-Sea, close to the mouth of the River Parrett.

It is a popular location for birdwatching and fossil hunting. A visitor centre in the nearby town Bridgwater gives access to information, as well as running tours of the plant. There is also a nature trail which features plants, birds and butterflies.

The exposed location of Hinkley Point meant that it was considered ideal for wind generation. However, a proposal to build 12 wind turbines close to the site of the nuclear power stations was turned down in October 2005. The reason given by the local council for the rejection was safety fears over what would happen were a turbine blade to detach and hit "something or somebody".

It is fair to surmise that the "something" that might be struck by a detached huge turbine "propellor" might be a nuclear power station. Not a good idea?

There are two power stations there at the moment; "A" is closed, "B" is operational. 

The Government has announced its support for a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. EDF plans to build a twin-unit European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) power station, called Hinkley Point C.

The new station, in conjunction with Sizewell C, could contribute 13% of UK electricity in the early 2020s.

Oh dear. Wouldn't it be nice if it were as simple as that. And we will get to the buses in due course, but hold on to your (safety?) hats for a rough ride!

 03/08  UK and France announce deal to construct new nuclear power stations
 09/08   EDF buys British Energy from the UK government. EDF is Électricité De France, the French Government in a very thin disguise. British Energy ...
... was set up in 1999 to run the UK Nuclear Power industry, nearly went bust and was, effectively nationalised.

 05/09   Centrica announces joint venture with EDF to build new nuclear power stations in UK. Centrica ...
... is the biggie that trades as ...
... but don't tell Sid!

 10/10  Hinkley Point announced as one of the eight candidates by the British government

 04/11  Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency delay assessment of proposed reactor designs due to Fukushima (Japan) disaster

 10/11  Application for development consent by NNB Generation Company was submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. NNB is EDF in an equally feeble disguise.

 11/12   EDF awarded nuclear site licence

 02/13  Centrica pulls out of joint venture with EDF

 03/13  EDF granted development consent order from Department for Energy and Climate Change

 10/13  Government and EDF agree on “strike price” (a euphemism for " guess"!) of Hinkley Point C

 10/13  Chinese nuclear generation utilities CGN ...
... and CNNC ...
... sign an agreement with EDF to take a 30 to 40 percent stake in the consortium to build Hinkley Point.

 10/14  European Commission announced that it has approved the Hinkley Point C State aid case. The EEC does not allow state subsidies except when it wants to; BUT in this case it wants to!

 05/15  EDF signs agreements with Chinese firms which will supply equipment for two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point

So it's all go ahead for the French Government to build an absolutely vital UK nuclear power station with Chinese money and Chinese equipment under a highly subsidised contract with the UK government approved by the EEC, which is less than transparent and probably a rip off, as well as having serious security implications. And if it isn't completed on time the lights will go out! And the whole scheme is running years late.

Sounds a good deal.

Except that the final deal, the container ship full of yen ...
... hasn't be approved and signed yet.

Sounds an even better deal.

Useless fact No 456 from fbb. "cash" is the name of a Chinese coin.
The English term "cash" referring to the coin was derived from the Tamil kāsu, a South Indian monetary unit. The English word "cash", meaning "tangible currency", is an older and unrelated word from Middle French caisse.

But loads of "preferred bidders" for Hinkley Point contracts have recently been announced, mainly local UK companies who will be part of the "supply chain"; which is where, at long, long last we get to buses.

Meanwhile, back at Plymouth ...

Who is advertising the new Stagecoach network?
First Bus, that's who!

Leaflets for the new network have been published, stylish Stagecoach as usual.
Look, a leaflet for the 101, information sadly lacking in the Stagecoach launch list.
fbb will visit Plymouth in September to have a look. 

 Next EDF blog : Wednesday 12th August 


  1. Your container would be full of Yuan. Yen are used in Japan.

    Through a link on Plymothian Transit, for 6th August, I have found details of the takeover of services on the Stagecoach website, having failed to find it directly. Whoever has put it up has not put it in a place where it can be found unless you know it is there.

  2. One of the delights of almost any public transport on the interwebnet is that you need to know what you need to know and where to look before you can find it. For those that may wish to have a butchers you must first find Stagecoach South West. Of course, you need to know that the operation is called Stagecoach South West before you can do that.

    Sorry about Yuan and Yen, my Yin and Yang bust have been out of synch; another consequence of not being as Yung as I was in Yon far-off days.

  3. The information has been on the front page of any of the Stagecoach South West area pages for about a week now (e.g. Exeter, Dawlish, Plymouth). The 101 has also been there all the time, rightly or wrongly on the normal services page.

    It's not often you can say good things about First, but this seems remarkably customer-orientated. At least they have not adopted the "fingers-in-ears, not-interested-any-more" approach.

  4. l see that Crosvile already operate a service to Hinkley Point C, but you need a password for the timetable. Thanks for all your hard work on this blog as well

  5. Regarding the last post you will find It is a joint venture operation called "Somerset Passenger Solutions" Sorry for the long URL!

    from FBB's Bournemouth correspondent

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    Find out if you qualify now!