Wednesday 28 September 2016

The 'most expensive object on earth' to be constructed just 273km off the coast of Ireland

Sasha Brady

Published 09/05/2016 | 15:42

An artist's impression of Hinkley Point C. Photo: HayesDavidson/EDF/PA
An artist's impression of Hinkley Point C. Photo: HayesDavidson/EDF/PA

A new nuclear power station is to be constructed in the south-west of the UK, just 273km off the coast of Ireland.

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It will be the "most expensive object on earth" according to Greenpeace.

The environmental charity estimates that the power plant, named Hinkley Point C, will cost a whopping £24 (€31) billion.

The proposed nuclear power station located in Hinkley, Somerset is 18 times more expensive than the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building in Dubai - and will cost five times more than the Large Hadron Collider.

It will also dwarf the cost of the £2.2 (€2.78) billion cost of Heathrow Airport Terminal 2.

Power company EDF Energy, a subsidiary of the French Government-owned energy company EDF (Électricité de France) Group, signed off on the billion pound project.

Hinkley Point C will be the first nuclear power plant to be constructed in Britain in over 30 years.

Initial estimates by EDF Energy claimed the plant would cost up to £18 (€23) billion - £6 (€8) billion less than Greenpeace's estimates.

The charity has now launched a petition to stop it from going ahead, so far signed by 110,790 people.

Greenpeace claim the project is "sucking up huge amounts of money that could be spent on renewable energy instead".

According to France's economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, the project may not be given the green light until September.

He cited an improvement in EDF’s financial position, consultation with French trade unions and unspecified measures to ensure construction goes according to plan.

“The final investment decision could be confirmed next September,” he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

The €31 billion power plant is also more expensive than the cost of the refurbishing of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

The Saudi Arabian royal family are currently refurbishing Masjid al-Ḥarām at a reported cost of about €20 billion - but as this includes a new road and train line, it's not classified as an "object".

While Hinkley Point C is the most expensive object on earth, it doesn't come close to the cost of the International Space Station at €98 billion.

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