British Energy’s latest cash crisis

British Energy faces an uncertain future as talks begin over its dire financial situation. The nuclear power company is heading for insolvency with a £500 million loss recorded over the past year. The company is calling for immediate aid from the government, reports the BBC.


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British Energy has been losing money steadily as the price of electricity on the wholesale market has dropped 40% over the past four years. It now costs more for the company to produce electricity than to sell it. Other electricity companies are also struggling in the current market – few are making money.

The nuclear power company is asking for a financial rescue package from the government. But Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt told BBC News: “There’s no question at all of taxpayers writing a blank cheque to British Energy and its shareholders.” She said the only reason she was getting involved in discussions was because the government had a responsibility to ensure the safety of nuclear power.

As well as operating eight nuclear power stations in the UK, the company has a joint venture with a US energy group and is seeking a buyer for its share, which could generate £200-£300 million.

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