[UK] Government reaffirms nuclear commitment via the construction index

While a deal between the government and EDF over a pricing structure for nuclear-generated power remains elusive, the minister in charge has today reaffirmed his commitment to a major nuclear construction programme.

French company EDF is all ready to start construction at Hinkley Point C in Somerset but has been unable to agree a crucial ‘contract for difference’ with the government. Without this, EDF does not know if its business case stands up and so everything has been put on hold and staff have been laid off.

However, Michael Fallon, the minister responsible for both energy and construction, has said that the government remains “firmly committed to ensuring that new nuclear goes ahead in this country”.

And if a deal cannot be done with the French, then there is always the Japanese.

Mr Fallon is meeting today with executives from Hitachi and Horizon, who are planning to invest £20bn in new nuclear plants at Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Hitachi stepped in last year to rescue the Horizon nuclear project after German firms RWE and E.ON backed out in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Hitachi plans to build two or three reactors at each site with the first station in Wylfa coming online in the first half of the 2020s. Some 6,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

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