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EDF set to confirm Chinese investment in Hinkley nuclear plant

EDF is set to confirm Chinese investment in the multi-billion-pound scheme. Credit: EDF

Plans for the UK's first nuclear power plant in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset are set to be given a boost today.

French energy giant EDF will confirm Chinese investment in the multi-billion-pound scheme.

An announcement will be made on the second full day of a visit to the UK by Chinese president Xi Jinping. He's due to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister at which the nuclear project will be discussed.

Anti-nuclear protestors have recently set up camp at the site.

Protesters erect 'white elephant' outside Hinkley

Protesters camped outside Hinkley Point C in Somerset, have erected a white elephant, which they say represents the views of the financial and nuclear sector.

In the early hours, of Monday 19th October, the protesters built a compound, with an elephant and Chinese banners. They say the stalled project is "a bad investment" and should now be abandoned. It comes a month after George Osborne announced China's investment in the plant.


Anti-nuclear protesters set up camp at Hinkley

Anti-nuclear protesters have set up camp on a roundabout at the gates of the Hinkley C nuclear building site.

They say that EDF's project "is an expensive road to nowhere", and only investment in renewable makes sense. They're urging others to join them, as they prepare to camp the night and cause disruption.

The protesters are urging others to join them outside the nuclear power plant Credit: Osbornes NRG Folly

"Today we have occupied EDF's land at the entrance to the idle Hinkley C site. We want to send a message to the Chinese govt and George Osborne. We don't want EDF's white elephant, we want the renewables revolution!"

– Osbornes NRG Folly

The construction of the new nuclear power plant, will be the first in the UK for a generation, and it's expected to supply 7% of the UK's electricity needs.

Last month, George Osborne announced fresh investment from China, which brings the assembly of the plant one step closer.

Anti-nuclear campaigners write to PM over China

An artist's impression of the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point Credit: EDF Energy

Campaigners trying to stop a nuclear generator being built in Hinkley in Somerset have written to David Cameron.

The Stop Hinkley Campaign has urged the Prime Minister to end co-operation with China, claiming recent explosions in the country have highlighted its poor health and safety record.

Osborne says China partnership will benefit British people

Britain's first nuclear power station for twenty years has moved a step closer to being built in Somerset.

The Chancellor George Osborne has announced fresh investment totalling more than £24 billion during a 5 day tour of China where he is hoping to secure further funding for Britain's nuclear industry.

The plant could provide 25,000 jobs.

County Council welcomes £2 billion support for Hinkley

The Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall has welcomed today’s announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, saying it is very positive news for the county and the country.

The Chancellor insisted new nuclear power stations are essential to make sure the lights stay on as he gave the green light to the initial government guarantee for the first such plant in Britain for 20 years.

The new government guarantee, provided by Infrastructure UK is set to be worth around £2 billion and will pave the way for a final investment decision by energy company EDF Energy.

We warmly welcome today’s announcement from the Chancellor. This is yet another major milestone for the Hinkley Point C project, which will bring significant benefits to Somerset’s economy, communities and infrastructure.

Today’s news marks another important step forward and we remain confident Hinkley Point C will go ahead and now await the final investment decision.

The construction and operation of the plant will bring millions of pounds-worth of investment in our infrastructure and our communities will be set to benefit hugely from the creation of thousands of jobs in Somerset.

We will continue to work closely with our district council colleagues, EDF Energy, local communities, and Central Government to play our part in paving the way for this historic development.

– David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council


Green MEP attacks Hinkley announcement

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West Credit: PA: Lynne Cameron

The Green MEP for the South West has criticised the government announcement to guarantee £2 billion to underwrite the proposed nuclear electricity generation plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which is due to be built partly with Chinese money.

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, whose constituency Hinkley would be built in and long term critic of Hinkley says it is astonishing the government is "begging for Chinese money".

Wheeling out the Tory spin machine shows the government’s desperation. This is not new money at all. Numerous deadlines for signing this flawed deal have now been missed with French companies facing technological delays and Chinese companies facing financial difficulties.

It is astonishing that the government will go begging the Chinese for money in the middle of a stock market crisis while neglecting our incredible renewable resources in the South West. The Navitus off-shore wind development in Dorset alone would have secured enough energy to power 700,000 homes. There is clearly an ideological pro nuclear, anti-renewables obsession at the heart of government. While this government sees fit to subsidise foreign companies to support an old industry it is deliberately destroying UK companies and undermining investment opportunities for small-scale investors building the energy of the future.

The Tories are snubbing British citizens who have shown their willingness to invest in community renewables and support the clean, green energy of the future with which our country, and particularly the South West, is so richly endowed.

– Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West

Decision delayed on new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point

The final decision on whether to go ahead with a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset has been delayed.

EDF Energy originally set a deadline of the end of March to make its final investment decision.

It now says that will only be possible in the next few months. Chinese partners are putting in 40% of the £24 billion needed. They're still in negotiations with EDF and the Government over the underwriting of the debt.

Hinkley C artist's impression Credit: EDF

Government will retaliate if Austrians continue anti-nuclear legal bid

Hinkley C artist's impression Credit: EDF/ITV News

The government has threatened to retaliate if Austria goes ahead with a legal challenge to the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

The anti-nuclear country claim funding arrangements for Hinkley C breach EU rules on subsidies.

An Austrian MEP said the British Foreign Office was threatening a number of legal moves if they pursue the court action.

The £16 billion project to create a 3,200 MW two reactor nuclear power station was agreed in 2013 by EDF and two Chinese companies.

I don't think that threats by a friendly Government in the European community is something that we would allow to even happen. This is something that is completely out of line.

– Eugen Freund, Austrian MEP
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