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The decade-long road to Hinkley Point

It's expected to be another nine years before the nuclear plant is operational Photo: PA

The decision to go ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station comes after Theresa May ordered a review of the project shortly after taking office, amid concerns over costs and security implications.

But this was just the one of many twists and turns in a project which has taken more than a decade to get off the ground.

This is the the timeline of events which spans ten years, and is likely to take another nine years to build:

The decade-long road to Hinkley Point

  • July 2006 - The government gives the green light to new nuclear power plants, suggesting the low-carbon energy source would make a "significant contribution" to cutting carbon emissions.
  • February 2007 - EDF boss Vincent de Rivaz promises Britain would be cooking Christmas turkeys on new nuclear power by 2017.
  • September 2008 - British Energy, which owns existing power plants in the UK, is bought by EDF for £12.5 billion. The firm reveals plans to build four new reactors in the UK.
  • March 2011 - Nuclear disaster at Fukushima power plant in Japan following magnitude 9 earthquake and huge tsunami hits confidence in nuclear power worldwide.
  • November 2012 - The first new site licence for a UK nuclear power station in 25 years is granted to EDF's planned Hinkley Point plant.
  • October 2013 - The government agrees £92.50 per megawatt-hour will be paid for electricity produced at the Somerset site - around double the current market rate at the time.
  • October 2014 - The European Commission gives the final go-ahead for the £18 billion project.
  • February 2015 - The March deadline on a final investment decision is abandoned by EDF.
  • October 2015 - EDF signs an investment agreement with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) to build the new plant.
  • June 2016 - Britain's vote to leave the European Union throws fresh doubt on the project. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd says the final investment decision is still expected soon, claiming "we are full tilt on Hinkley Point".
  • July 2016 - EDF announces board will meet to consider final investment decision on July 28. EDF gives the scheme the go-ahead but shortly after Theresa May takes over as prime minister, she delays the decision until the autumn to review costs and security issues.
  • September 2016 - During a visit to the G20 summit in China, May defends the delay, insisting it is down to "the way I operate" because she wants a fresh look at the evidence. The government later confirms the Hinkley C nuclear power station will go ahead following a "new agreement" with EDF.

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