One of the last stumbling blocks to a deal was removed last week when Chancellor George Osborne announced that Chinese firms would be allowed to invest in civil nuclear projects in the UK – even potentially taking a majority stake – following a Memorandum of Understanding on civil nuclear co-operation between the UK and Chinese governments.
Consequently, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNP) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) will be investing in Hinkley Point-C albeit as minority stakeholders.
France’s EDF Group and other investors will be responsible for funding this project. Consumers will pay for the electricity it generates from 2023 through their bills. Building a new fleet of nuclear power stations could reduce bills by more than £75 a year in 2030, compared to a future where Apprentices at Hinkley Point Cnuclear is not part of the energy mix.
The Government will ensure that the operator of Hinkley Point C will be responsible for the full costs of decommissioning and its share of the costs of waste management. The developer would separately be required to start putting money into a fund from the first day of generation to pay for decommissioning and waste management costs associated with HPC.
Building HPC will have significant benefits for the UK economy, including:
A massive investment by EDF Group and its fellow investors of around £16 billion to build the plant UK companies could benefit from getting up to 57% of the work;
25,000 jobs created during construction, with 5,600 people employed on site at peak of construction, and 900 permanent jobs over 60 years of expected operation;
Power provided for nearly 6 million homes, an area almost twice the size of London, with the site meeting around 7% of the UK’s electricity demand when running at full capacity; and
A clean, home-grown source of electricity, which will reduce the UK’s emissions by 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year, helping to meet climate targets.
Henri Proglio, EDF Chairman and Chief Executive of EDF, said: “The agreement in principle reached today with the British government significantly strengthens the industrial and energy co-operation between France and the United Kingdom. The EPR project at Hinkley Point represents a great opportunity for the French nuclear industry in a context of a renewal of competencies.”