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EDF chief executive calls for Hinkley approval

The chief executive of EDF has urged Theresa May to give the green light to the Hinkley point C nuclear power station. In an interview with the Telegraph, Vincent de Rivaz stressed the positive aspects of the proposed project and issued assurances regarding the plant.

It’s thought the government has concerns over potential security issues and the possibility of a cyberattack, but in the Telegraph interview, de Rivaz told the newspaper that all staff would be vetted and control rooms kept separate.

Hinkley C received final funding approval in the summer and it was expected that the government would give the project the go-ahead. However, it was announced that there was to be a delay; the government won’t make a final decision over approval until the autumn.

If the plant does get the final go-ahead, it’s expected to be commissioned by 2025. It will cost £18 billion to build, have the capacity to fuel more than 5 million homes, and create thousands of jobs.

EDF states that the plant will lead to a £4 billion investment in the South West during the lifetime of Hinkley C, including more than £1 billion during the construction phase.

Government tensions        

The delay in the decision has led to tensions between the UK and its partners in China. Chinese investment is crucial to the completion of the project, and they have committed a third of the financing for it. The Chinese government are keen for the deal to go ahead and the delay in the decision has caused a strain on diplomatic relationships between the two countries.

Unions file legal Challenge

While Hinkley C has the support of several major unions in the UK, in France a legal challenge has been launched. Hinkley C has also been subject to a past legal challenge by unions in France, who attempted to block the decision.

Low carbon future

Supporters say Hinkley C is an essential part of the UK’s low carbon future and the UK must find ways to produce greener former of power in order to provide greater energy security. The bid to find cleaner methods of energy production has led to a greater drive towards nuclear power, which has the support of the government.

However, environmental campaigners are calling for greater use of renewable energy, energy savings and energy storage as solutions for the UK’s future fuel needs.

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