August 29, 2016
EDF chief urges government give go-ahead to Hinkley Point C

The head of EDF Energy has urged the government to approve Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea in an explict appeal ahead of a decision due within weeks.

Prime Minister Theresa May intervened last month to delay the £18 billion project, just hours after it was approved by EDF’s board. The government says it will make a final decision in the early autumn.

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said the Chinese, who will provide £6 billion of funding, are a trusted partner with whom the French has worked in building two nuclear reactors in China.

Former cabinet colleague Vince Cable said May is concerned about China’s involvement, particularly in terms of national security.

But Vincent de Rivaz said that the "project brings the benefits of a 30-year partnership between EDF and CGN in nuclear construction in China, a country with the largest civil nuclear programme in the world. We know and trust our Chinese partners."

Addressing security concerns, he said all staff on nuclear projects were rigorously vetted and the control systems at Hinkley Point would be isolated from IT systems and the internet.

EDF and its partners have agreed to fund the new stations, and in return Britain has committed to paying a minimum price for the power generated for 35 years. Critics say the strike price, which is around double current market levels, is too high.

However, De Rivaz believes it is fair and said: "Hinkley Point C is competitive with all other future energy options, even including fossil fuels like gas when the cost of carbon is taken into account."


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