Published: October 3, 2013
Hinkley Point C construction deal to be signed 'within weeks'

A contract to build Hinkley Point C nuclear plant near Burnham-On-Sea is reportedly "within weeks" of completion.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon told the Financial Times this week he is "working intensely" to seal a deal for the £14bn Hinkley Point C reactor.

Lengthy negotiations have taken place with France's EDF over the price it could charge for the electricity generated.

Government approval to build the first in a planned set of new nuclear sites in the UK was granted in March.

"We're not quite there yet, but I hope we will be in the next few weeks," Mr Fallon told the paper.

Talks between EDF and the government to agree on a contract stalled earlier this year over the guaranteed price at which the electricity could be sold.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group has a co-operation agreement with EDF and could claim a stake of up to 49% in the project, the FT reports. There is also said to be interest in further investment in the UK's nuclear sector from companies in South Korea, China and Japan.

Mr Fallon said: "There's intense interest there because people can see that finally we're getting our civil nuclear programme moving again after the long, dead Labour years."

However, environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have raised concerns over the potentially high price for electricity the government will agree to in order to get the new plants built, and the issue of nuclear waste.


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