Following a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project, and a revised agreement with EDF, the government has decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation.
The new Somerset nuclear power station, financed by the French and the Chinese, had hit opposition as critics of the deal warned of escalating costs and the implications of nuclear power plants being built in the UK by foreign governments.
After EDF’ board, who are financing two thirds of the project costs, agreed a deal in July, new Prime Minister Theresa May decided to hold the deal off for further consultation. China is investing the remaining £6 billion.
The government has now confirmed that it will now ‘impose a new legal framework for future foreign investment in Britain's critical infrastructure’.
The deal with EDF means that the government is able to intervene in the sale of EDF’s stake once Hinkley is operational. The new legal framework means that after Hinkley, the government will take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “Having thoroughly reviewed the proposal for Hinkley Point C, we will introduce a series of measures to enhance security and will ensure Hinkley cannot change hands without the Government’s agreement. Consequently, we have decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation.
“Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear is an important part of ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.”