Hinkley deal delay In a surprise move, the UK government delayed its final approval of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point on 28 July, just hours after French energy company EDF, which is financing most of the project’s construction, gave it the go-ahead. Hinkley Point C would be the first new UK nuclear power station this century, and has an £18-billion (US$24-billion) price tag. China has signed up to provide one-third of the cost. The project was championed by the previous UK government, but the current government said that it needed time to review the deal.
EU funds research on migrant crisis The European Commission is making €11 million (US$12.3 million) available for research that addresses challenges related to migration. Some 1.25 million refugees have entered Europe since the start of 2015, but management policies across the continent are weak and poorly coordinated. As part of its Horizon 2020 framework programme, the commission will next year announce five calls for proposals related to different policy areas, including the integration of migrants into the workforce and society. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, announced the measures last week.
Farewell Philae On 27 July, the European Space Agency (ESA) switched off radio communications with Philae, the space probe that made history by landing on a comet in November 2014. Philae had a bright but unlucky career. After landing on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, it failed to grip the comet’s surface and bounced into a shady spot where it was unable to charge its solar panels. It performed just 64 hours of experiments before its batteries died. The probe signalled again briefly …