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UK Energy & Climate Change Department In Disarray

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John Collingridge and Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times

THE government executive in charge of attracting investors to Britain’s struggling nuclear industry has been replaced by an animal health expert.

Hergen Haye’s departure from the Office for Nuclear Development will add to the perception that the Department of Energy & Climate Change has fallen into disarray at a crucial time.

Last week the power company EDF warned it may lay off up to 400 workers at the site of Britain’s first new nuclear reactor for decades, at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The French giant and its Chinese partners have been locked in talks with the government over a state debt guarantee and Chinese demands for the right to build their own reactor on British soil. The project is already six years behind schedule and the cost has leapt to £24bn. […]

Speculation is growing that energy department’s days of independence could be numbered. A government source said that if David Cameron is re-elected, he is likely to fold it into the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, where the government has more staff with commercial experience.

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