UK-France sign major nuclear contract

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UK-France sign major nuclear contract NewsLineToday    Gallery Enlarge Image

Manju Shukla
Date  30/09/2016

The British government has signed an £18 billion agreement with French energy giant EDF and a Chinese firm for the construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, South West England.

The signing ceremony—attended by high officials from the UK, France and China—was held behind closed doors in London on Thursday.

This was the second attempt at signing the controversial deal, after UK Prime Minister Theresa May put it on a halt in July, citing the need to review the details. She approved the contract two weeks ago.

UK business and energy Secretary Greg Clark, who attended the meeting on behalf of his country, said the contract addressed national security and ownership concerns.

"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,” he said.

Following May’s intervention, Clark had announced that there would be new restrictions on future investments in critical infrastructure due to national security concerns.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, another attendee, defended the deal and said it would boost the whole industry.

"It`s a good deal. I know it has raised questions, particularly in France, but it represents an opportunity for the future of an entire industry," Ayrault said ahead of the ceremony

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