The UK Government has signed an historic agreement with the French-owned energy firm EDF, which paves the way for a new generation of nuclear power. After an unexpected delay to further review the Hinkley Point C proposals the government finally gave the go ahead for the two new nuclear reactors in mid-September 2016.
The Current secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, Jean Bernard Levy, CEO of EDF and He Yu, chairman of the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) came together to sign the Contract for Difference and Secretary of State Investor agreement in late September.
Commenting on the development, Greg Clark stated:
“Signing the Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C is a crucial moment in the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation and follows new measures put in place by Government to strengthen security and ownership.
Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear power stations like Hinkley play an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.”
Building and Funding of Hinkley Point C
The £18 billion plant is being partly funded by the CGN group, who have invested £6 billion; the government has also pledged funding towards the new plant.
Hinkley Point C will be the UK’s first nuclear power plant for twenty years and Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of EDF Energy in the UK, said it will “kick start Britain’s nuclear revival”.
Once built, the Somerset-based plant will produce 7 per cent of the UK’s fuel needs, and the signing of the agreement will also allow the development of Sizewell C and Bradwell B.
Hinkley Point C Plans
Hinkley Point C is due to start producing electricity in 2025 and it will provide power for 6 million homes.
Decommissioning of the plant will begin in 2083 and will cost more than £7 billion; the operators of the Hinkley Point C have been made responsible for the decommissioning and site clearance costs under new measures brought in by the government.
Importance of nuclear energy to UK
Nuclear power is part of the government’s plans to provide energy security for the UK and to help fill the need for low carbon energy sources. There are eight potential sites that could be commissioned by 2025, and Horizon Ltd and NuGeneration are just two companies who plan to build nuclear reactors in the UK.