Utilities building new nuclear power plants in the U.K. may have to spend as much as 6 billion pounds ($9.3 billion) on each plant, according to Charles Hendry, the country’s minister of state for energy.
“Nuclear without subsidies will be part of the energy mix going forward,” Hendry said, speaking in an interview in Stavanger, Norway. “A new nuclear plant we would expect to be about 6 billion pounds, so at this stage we have expressions of interest to build eight to 10 in the next 20 years.”
Companies including Electricite de France SA, Centrica Plc and RWE AG have bought land or formed partnerships to pursue nuclear development in the U.K. Britain approved 10 sites for new reactors earlier this year and the newly elected government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is considering a minimum price for carbon dioxide emissions to encourage investment in renewable energy and nuclear projects.
The cost of building new reactors in France and Finland, has climbed because of delays and design modifications. Areva SA, the world’s biggest reactor builder, pledged in 2005 to complete its EPR nuclear reactor in Olkiluoto, Finland by 2009 at a total cost of 3 billion euros. EDF will have to pay as much as 5 billion euros to complete its reactor at Flamanville in France, the company said last month.