Osborne pledges £2bn for nuclear power

George Osborne has announced £2bn in support for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.

The Chancellor confirmed the support today (21 September) during a five-day tour of China, which will be provided by Infrastructure UK.

The initial deal is set to be worth around £2 billion and will pave the way for a final investment decision by energy company EDF, supported by China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, later this year, and with further amounts potentially available in the longer-term.

“‘Britain was the home to the very first civil nuclear power stations in the world and I am determined that we now lead the way again. Nuclear power is cost competitive with other low carbon technology and is a crucial part of our energy mix, along with new sources of power such as shale gas,” said Mr Osborne.

“So I am delighted to announce this guarantee for Hinkley Point today and to be in China to discuss their investments in Britain’s nuclear industry.

“It is another move forward for the golden relationship between Britain and China – the world's oldest civil nuclear power and the world's fastest growing civil nuclear power,” added the Chancellor.

The Government said the agreement also boosts work being carried out under a Memorandum of Understanding on fuel cycle collaboration signed with China in 2014, which has the potential to leverage UK expertise in waste management and decommissioning as well as support UK growth.

“We will continue to work with EDF to finalise the Hinkley deal, which will power nearly six million homes and create more than 25,000 jobs – providing more financial security for working people and their families as we transition to a low-carbon future,” added Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues