LONDON Nuclear plant deal signed
THE contract for a French-Chinese consortium to build Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation was signed at a low-key ceremony last week, after a string of controversies threatened to scupper the huge deal.
The British government had delayed agreement over concerns about China’s involvement, while there were questions about how the Frenchowned power giant EDF would fund the construction of Hinkley Point.
Britain finally gave the go-ahead earlier last month for the £18 billion (US$23 billion) complex, which is expected to provide 7 percent of the country’s power needs, but it set conditions for the deal.
Britain said EDF cannot cede majority control of the project and wants more scrutiny over national security concerns for future projects.
China has a one-third stake in the project and analysts had warned that Britain could have jeopardised relations with the world’s second-largest economy if it scrapped the deal.
Critics said it could give China the power to turn off the lights.
The UK government has said the plant will create 26,000 jobs and boost the economy. –