27 Jun (NucNet): The UK government has announced a bid to encourage investment in nuclear power by offering 10 billion pounds (GBP) (15.2 billion US dollars, 11.6 billion euros) of guarantees to investors in a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.
The commitment to nuclear came as part of a major announcement on GBP 100 billion in public funding for capital projects such as road, rail and energy infrastructure that the government hopes will stimulate the economy.
Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said in a speech: “And I can announce today that we will offer a. . . multi-billion pound guarantee to advance the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.”
In a speech later before parliament, Mr Alexander confirmed the amount at GBP 10 billion.
The Treasury said later that Hinkley Point C would “pre-qualify” for a UK government infrastructure guarantee.
A statement said negotiations are continuing between the government and NNB Genco, a subsidiary of EDF, on the potential terms of an investment contract for Hinkley Point C.
A contract will only be offered if it is value for money, fair and affordable, in line with government policy on no public subsidy for nuclear, the statement said.
EDF Energy is planning a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point and has been in talks with the government over a contract price for electricity to be produced by the plant.
Planning consent has been given for construction of the plant, which would be the first new nuclear power plant in the UK since 1995.
But EDF Energy warned last month that before construction begins agreement is needed with the government on a contract for electricity the plant would produce.
EDF Energy hopes to build four new European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) in the UK, two at Hinkley Point in Somerset and two at Sizewell in Suffolk.
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