Last week’s poll: Hinkley Point overspend

Engineer readers seem quite unconcerned about the rising estimates for the cost of building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

Our poll last week indicates some cynicism — or perhaps realism — about the cost estimates of major and complex engineering projects. Of the 494 readers who responded to the poll over the course of the week, the largest proportion, 34 per cent, seemed unconcerned about the increase in EDF’s estimate of the cost for building Hinkley Point C, choosing the option that costs were always likely to fluctuate over the course of the project. The next largest group, 25 per cent, said that the increases indicated that the design of the reactors for the power station was too complex, while 18 per cent thought that the power station would continue to be troublesome. Just 4 per cent thought that the contract to build the power station, designed so that EDF bears the cost of any overruns from the original schedule, was well-constructed. A larger-than-usual 19 per cent declined to pick one of our stated options, but commenters did not state what they would have preferred to have seen in the poll.

Please continue to send us your opinions on this issue as the situation develops.