16th September 2016 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

The Government has approved plans for the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear power station after imposing "significant new safeguards."

The Hinkley Point nuclear power plant has been granted approval with "significant new safeguards" put in place by the UK government. The project, which will be constructed in Somerset will be financed by the French and Chinese governments but the UK have now implemented measures to retain control of "critical infrastructure".

EDF, which is owned by the French state are the firm behind the project and the new safeguards will give ministers the power to prevent them from selling their stake in the power plant. EDF will be funding the bulk of the scheme which is expected to create over 25,000 jobs, with the Chinese government investing the further £6bn.

Hinkley Point Project

Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chief Executive of EDF, said: "The decision of the British Government to approve the construction of Hinkley Point C marks the relaunch of nuclear in Europe."

In addition to being able to stop EDF from selling their share in Hinkley, the government will also take a 'golden' share in any future nuclear power projects; this means large shareholdings cannot be sold without its consent.

China has agreed to invest in the Hinkley Point project, as well as developing a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk. As part of the deal, a new project at Bradwell in Essex will also be developed which will be completely managed and designed by the state-owned China General Nuclear Corporation.

The Department for Business said: "After Hinkley, the British government will take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects. This will ensure that significant stakes cannot be sold without the government's knowledge or consent."

It added: "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."

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