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Live reaction: Hinkley nuclear power plant approved by government

The Hinkley C nuclear power station will go ahead following a "new agreement" with EDF, the Government has confirmed.

Here are the major developments:

  • The Government announced the new deal on Thursday morning
  • Energy Minister Greg Clark described it as a "major step forward" and an £18 billion investment in the economy creating 26,000 jobs
  • Chinese company CGN, which is investing in the deal, said it was "very happy" and that it was now "able to move forward and deliver" nuclear capacity at Sizewell and Bradwell
  • Unions and the French government have welcomed the deal
  • But Greenpeace has slammed the decision
  • Labour said the plant was 'vital' for the economy but criticised the Government's negotiations
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Minister outlines reforms made over Hinkley deal

Reforms over the Hinkley plant will be in place for future nuclear deals. Credit: Reuters

Business and energy minister Greg Clark said reforms to the "wider legal framework" over Hinkley would be in place for future deals involving critical infrastructure in the UK.

He told parliament that reforms include:

  • A 'special share' for the government in all future nuclear new-build projects to ensure significant stakes cannot be sold without the government's knowledge or consent.
  • The Office for Nuclear Regeneration (ONR), independent of government and investors, will require notice from developers and operators about any change of ownership or part ownership which will allow the governmnet to advise or take action to protect issues of national security.
  • A significant reform in the government's approach to the ownership and control of critical infrastructure to ensure that the full implications of foreign ownership are scrutinised for the purposes of national security. This will include a review of the public interest test in the Enterprise Act 2002 and a national security requirement to ensure government approval.

However, Labour suggested the claims relating to the new powers were "window dressing" and that the government already has the ability to intervene in deals relating to the sale of critical infrastructure.

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