Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the government is to give the go ahead to Chinese firms taking a stake in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power.
He made the announcement at Taishan nuclear power station in Southern China on the final day of his visit to China.
The Chancellor said: "Today is another demonstration of the next big step in the relationship between Britain and China - the world's oldest civil nuclear power and the world's fastest growing civil nuclear power.
"It is an important potential part of the government's plan for developing the next generation of nuclear power in Britain. It means the potential of more investment and jobs in Britain, and lower long-term energy costs for consumers."
The Chancellor George Osborne will agree a deal this week that will see a Chinese firm become one of the main players in the building of a new nuclear power plant for Hinkley Point. It's a move that is welcomed by businesses in the area that will benefit.
Bob Constantine reports.
The Government announced in 2010 that Hinkley Point was one of 8 sites suitable for a new reactor. Then in 2011, EDF submitted a plan for development of a new reactor at the site, Hinkley Point C, and a new nuclear licence was awarded in 2012 - the first since 1987.
But since then the Government and EDF have been negotiating over the proposals, with a major sticking point being the guaranteed price paid for energy produced by the new reactor.
If the construction goes ahead the reactor could supply up to 7% of the country's energy needs.
The Energy Secretary Ed Davey has hinted that a new deal to build a reactor at Hinkley Point is close. Speaking at the weekend he said that Britain's energy sector was set to benefit from billions of pounds of investment from the Far East.
Mr Davey said "The Chinese, along with the Japanese and the Koreans are very interested in the opportunities in the British nuclear sector. I think it is really possible we will see massive Chinese investment".
Recent reports have suggested that the Chinese are set to take a stake in the consortium seeking to build the new reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset
On the positive side, we will now have the 35 meter high T-Pylons rather than the proposed 50 meter high standard pylons and more towers will be removed than will be erected. Existing lines in Nailsea will be removed to the great benefit of local residents and one line will be removed on Tickenham Ridge. Moving the line of pylons away from houses and schools in West Nailsea is another positive development. I am also pleased that the original route to take the transmission line away from Portbury has been reinstated.
However, despite the adoption of the T-Pylons (which have never been used anywhere in Britain) the overhead technology remains rooted in the past and other, new, technologies such as GIL (Gas Insulated Lines) have not been fully considered. The impact on the environment is still greater than widespread undergrounding would achieve but significantly better than the original horror of the 50 meter towers. In particular, the issue of Tickenham Ridge has not been properly resolved.
The route electricity will take as it's carried from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been revealed.
It'll mean around 140 new pylons will be put up along a route stretching 34 miles across Somerset.
But the National Grid says it'll bury some of the new cable underground and the new pylons will cause less disruption to the countryside.
But those who've protested over the issue say they're not being heard.
John Bevir reports:
Whatever your views on the power lines from Hinkley Point C, whether like me, you believe beautiful Somerset shouldn’t be spoiled by unnecessary Pylons or not, this is the consultation to respond to; your responses will be seen by the planning inspector and will in the end make a difference to our countryside.
It is vitally important that we take this opportunity to tell National Grid what we want, whether that is under-sea, under-ground or over-ground. Importantly, we must tell them why their proposals are wrong or right for our area. You do not need to understand or go into the technical details of the plans; you simply need to give your thoughts.”
Each household will receive a copy of the National Grid ‘Project News’ and a disc with all the information about the project on it. Hard copies of all the information can be picked up at the National Grid information point in Mark Village Hall.
Tessa has also asked for paper copies to be put in her office in Wedmore.
There will also be a public Q&A session on Saturday 21st September in Mark Village Hall.
An exhibition will be held from 9:30am to 2:30pm and the Q&A will follow on after from 3:00pm to 4:30pm.
More than 40,000 properties between Bridgwater and Avonmouth have received information about National Grid's proposed plans.
The 400,000 volt electricity lines will connect the West Country for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley.
Although the Government approved the Hinkley C power station project in March 2013 no agreement has been reached with the developers and progress has now stalled. We can’t understand why National Grid is rushing ahead with this connection scheme. There is no timetable for the power plant. If they stopped and took a breath they could take account of other technologies that exist or are emerging.”