The UK government has approved the £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, Summerset. EDF, the French state-controlled-energy firm, will fund two thirds of the cost. The Chinese government will invest the remaining £6bn.
A conditional deal
While the project has now been approved, the government has imposed some conditions after reviewing the plans in July:
• The UK government can block the sale of EDF’s controlling stake in the project; and
• The government will also take a special or “golden share” in all future nuclear projects, making sure significant stakes can’t be sold without the government’s consent.
A national security risk?
Critics are concerned about the implications of a British nuclear plant funded by foreign governments. The Department for Business said: “There will be reforms to the government’s approach to the ownership and control of critical infrastructure to ensure that the full implications of foreign ownership are scrutinised for the purposes of national security.”