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Hinkley Point: UK approves nuclear plant deal

Artist's impression of Hinkley Point C building proposals

The government has approved a new £18bn nuclear power station in the UK after imposing “significant new safeguards” to protect national security.

The new plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is being financed by the French and Chinese governments.

However, the UK government says it will have control over foreign investment in “critical infrastructure”.

Ministers will be able to stop EDF, the state-controlled French energy firm, from selling its stake in Hinkley.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, chief executive of EDF, which is building the plant, said: “The decision of the British Government to approve the construction of Hinkley Point C marks the relaunch of nuclear in Europe.”

Live reaction to Hinkley Point decision

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Hinkley approval: Reaction from Somerset

Critics of the deal have warned of escalating costs and the implications of allowing nuclear power plants to be built in the UK by foreign governments.

EDF is funding two-thirds of the project, which will create more than 25,000 jobs, with China investing the remaining £6bn.

The Chinese agreed to take a stake in Hinkley, which will meet 7% of Britain’s electricity needs, and to develop a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk on the understanding that the UK government would approve a Chinese-led and designed project at Bradwell in Essex. That decision has raised questions over national security.

www.bbc.co.uk , 15th September 2016

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