back to article EDF circles British nuclear powerplant sites

French nuclear energy colossus EDF, which also operates various types of non-nuclear generation in the UK, has been buying up farmland close to existing British nuke plants. The purchases are seen as a move to strengthen EDF's position in negotiations to buy British Energy, the sites' owner. Today is the final deadline for …


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  1. Jason Edmunds

    Better stock up on candles then.

    So the French are going to take over power generation in the UK?

    A sharp increase in candle purchases due to the threat of strike action is going to result in a heavy tax levy on those C02 spewing candlesticks.

    Stock up now, that's my advice.

  2. John Macintyre
    Thumb Down

    all in gordon's plans

    save taxes further by just giving the bloody country away piece by piece to everyone else. get royal mail run by the italiens, power by france, water by germany, the trains by america and you're sorted, how can you possibly screw up a the country more if it's being run by another country?

  3. Chris
    Thumb Down

    EDF? Oh hell...

    EDF doing nuclear in the UK?

    Unbelievable - and downright frightening, seeing I live only about 30 miles - as the fallout blows - from a soon to be decommissioned nuclear power-plant site that's penciled in for new development.

    Since EDF became the electricity suppler - in charge of actually managing the delivery of electricity 'to the door' (I don't mean the outfit we pay bills to) - the level of power outages in the area has increased tenfold, and is getting steadily worse.

    Equipment failures are now so frequent it's apparent they are overloading the local distribution network, failing to invest in new plant, and failing to maintain what they have.

    In this area we now have a reliability of electricity supply that would shame many third world countries.

    And this bunch are seriously going into nuclear generation in the UK?

    Is it just me, or is finding yet another good reason to get the hell out of the UK becoming a daily occurrence?

  4. Pete


    EDF have simply decided that there is a future in vegetables that glow in the dark?

  5. John Band
    Thumb Up

    Vive l'EDF

    "EDF doing nuclear in the UK? Unbelievable - and downright frightening"

    Hardly. EDF generates 70% of France's electricity from nuclear, and has never had a major disaster. If they buy British Energy it'll be a Bloody Good Thing - at least it means there's a chance we'll actually *build* some nuclear plants before the lights go out...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Band

    Spot on.

    As for all those "what if there's an accident?" doom-mongers, if there's an accident at a French nuclear power station we'll cop the fallout anyway, what with being so close to them.

    So we might as well have them here generating power for us to use as over there selling it to us when they feel like it.

  7. Mark

    @John Band

    You forget. They're french and we're english.

    What right thinking frenchman *wouldn't* try to ensure that the english glow in the dark and have bits (inportant bits) fall off?

  8. Nev Silver badge
    Dead Vulture


    At the time of the CEGB the uk was a major player in the nuclear electricity gen field.

    Now reduced to selling it off to foreign companies and importing foreign know-how,

    It's quite pitiful.

    Hope they get them up and running before the EU carbon emissons reg come in in 2015 and all the coal fired stations have to be closed.

    The death of Britain.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "power plants"

    Do you pronounce 'nuclear' as 'nucular' as well?

    Right, the place a train stops is a "railway station", the opening hatch at the rear of a car is the "boot", at the front is a "bonnet" and the black rubber things on the wheels are the "tyres". The fat man who allegedly travels by sleigh at christmas is "Father Christmas".

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: "power plants"

    Ooh, I think my patronising alarm just went off.

  11. Frederick Karno

    It's so sad

    All our energy requirements are being put in the hands of over seas companies.

    During the last price rises suprise suprise we got our rates hiked by double the rate they passed on to consumers in their own countries.The government don't care because they get a larger cut of the higher prices.

    A nuclear power plant is a reasonably easy beast to manage and run.My worry is these firms will up and off after the plant has run its course and leave us to foot the bill.If we are going to have privately run nuclear plants a ring fenced bond for decommissioning should be taken over the lifetime of the plant.

    My bigger worry is the sellling off to an american led consortium of the plants that will provide the fuel ,waste disposal, and reprocessing of the fuel from these new power stations and i suspect from other plants worldwide.

    Why is the government continually selling off business's that have long term strategic importance to our ability to produce energy.

    10 years of inactivity have left us in a perilous state for our energy requirements we should perhaps stock up on candles and lamp oil we are going to need them.

  12. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Thanks Gordon!

    A couple of years ago, New Labour, desperate to raise a spot of cash sold BNFL's Westinghouse division. Westinghouse own the patents on the pressurised water reactor and have been developing new PWRs like the System 80+ and the AP1000. Westinghouse is going to make a fortune in the US in the next few years and now all that money is going to go to Toshiba (which will help offset the cost of closing down HD-DVD).

    Now we're going to be buying a French design reactor and none of the cash will end up in this country.

    But then, this is a country that hasn't seen fit to preserve Calder Hall as part of our industrial legacy.

    Going off to mutter quietly now.

    [Mutter Mutter]

  13. Simon Day

    This is obviously a cunning plan...

    I'm sure you all see it...

    The government has realised that there has been two major mistakes in the last 50 years.

    Joining Europe and privatising most of the UK - and it plans to kill both of these with a single cunning solution!!

    First you get foreign companies to buy up all the uk utilities and then pass legal requirements for them to invest in them,

    Then at a later date you announce our withdrawal from the EU AND the renationalisation of all those services.

    Since the "shareholders" then losing out will all be from other countries they can be told this was all done for security reasons and the uk government will allow them no legal recourse.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Boot Sale Britain

    So he sold our gold reserves at a 50% discount of the price today and now he is going to sell our only cheap energy generating source to another country for less than market value.

    I thought Scots were supposed to be tight?

    Oh and aren't EDF 70% owned by the French Government? How come they manage to actually increase shareholder value in the things they have a stake in and our muppets sell us on the cheap?

  15. Campbell


    does anyone else see where this is going?

    EDF build a bunch of power stations here, supply the power to France, shut down the French stations and charge us double the price the French pay.

    Just watch and remember you heard it here first.

    As Bart Simpson would say "twice the pet, none of the mess"

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  17. Anonymous Coward

    I hear

    That the Scottish government has expressly forbidden the building of new nuclear plants on health & safety grounds: planning was part of their devolution settlement, apparently.

    Which is quite sensible, given that they're sitting one of the biggest renewable energy resources in Europe.

  18. Steven Raith

    Math cambpell

    As a Scot living doon sooth, I find your attitude appalingly short sighted.

    tell me, other than North Sea oil [by definition a finite resource] what is the scottish economic and energy platform? Tourism and ginger "See yee Jimmy" caps?

    Because no bugger up there is going to swallow their pride and build wind farms in 'unspoilt Scotland', and wave energy farms - well, what a roaring success they have been, eh?

    Honestly, I'm glad I got out of Scotland when I did, it seems that everyone's IQ has dropped by a good thirty points in the last five years....

    Steven R

    Proud Scot.

    Not proud of Scotland.

  19. Mark

    "Unspoilt Scotland"

    You mean apart from the removal of all those trees that Scotland had and allowing the rain and wind to take the soil away and leave bugger all but a thin coating hardly worth growing plants on?

    THAT unspoilt scotland?

    Come on, you know it's plenty spoilt. All you're trying to do up there is stop making it worse.

    Which is admirable, but that doesn't make calling it "unspoilt" anything other than a lie, does it.

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  21. Anonymous Coward

    Gordon's bro

    So how long is it going to be before someone comments that EDF's PR bloke is none other than a Mr Andrew Broon, younger brother of the Rt Hon Gordon Broon MP?

    Nothing like keeping it in the family, says a random Austrian.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's the hardest done by country in the world?

    Reading all of the comments on these pages, it is Britain.

    STOP YOUR WHINING AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES. The Empire is no more. The Second World War was 60 years ago (the Russians had more than a little to do with it) and none of you alive then so stop taking credit. Wake up, put down your Union flags and face the new century, you bulldogs*.

    (Bulldog shit = Brit)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Raithing on about renewable energy

    1. Building wind turbines on land is so passé, so Nineties. The Danes put them out to sea, where there's greater exposure (and more power). The extra cost in construction is more than adequately compensated for.

    2. The Scots are directly exposed to most of the North Atlantic, which the Danes are not. (Ever wondered why it's so windy in Scotland?)

    3. Wave power is one thing, tidal power is another. Scotland, like Norway, has tidal currents zipping between it's islands and penisulas faster than a man can run -- well, me at any rate. As an example, the Pentland Firth just south of the Orkneys has peak tides of 8-9 knots, sustained 4 times a day, every day. Scotland is also home to one of the largest tidal whirlpools in the world, the Corryvreckan. That puts it up there, in tidal terms, alongside the Canadians and their Bay of Fundy.

    4. Government interest. There have been many, many government (both British and Scottish) commissioned reports on the matter. Tidal power alone, neglecting wind and wave, could supply the Scots with 270 TWhr/year (see Bryden, 2004). You'd have to build 20-30 nuclear plants to match that. Why have the British done nothing about it though? Inertia, or more pressing matters: wars in Iraq, maybe?

    Call it professional bias, but I do have to wonder why, with this vast supply of inexhaustible energy sitting on their doorstep, neither the Scots or Brits have done much about it. The oil will not last forever, but thankfully neither will Gordon Brown.

    But is this Salmond fellow any better?

  24. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    @Math Campbell

    Meh, I'm just bitter - I never did fit in up north ;-)

    Good comeback though - you don't here arguments like that down here, funnily enough. Hence the thumbs up.

    *goes off to meander through Scotlands economic output*

    Anyway, EDF making nuke plants in the UK [just to get back on topic] - well, someone has to, and UK.Gov is too fucking scared to be attached to it...

    Steven "I'm half german anyway so I don't care" Raith ;-)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more pork, no doubt

    "been buying up farmland close to existing British nuke plants"

    Makes it easier to buy up the milk and throw it away in the event of a Homer Simpson.

    Lots of yummy taxpayers money for EDF coming up, thx to G Browns bro.

  26. The Badger

    Re: Thanks Gordon!

    "But then, this is a country that hasn't seen fit to preserve Calder Hall as part of our industrial legacy."

    Oh, I'm sure Calder Hall will be part of the nation's "legacy" for some considerable time to come.

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