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UK and EDF agree deal on two new nuclear reactors

UK and EDF agree deal on two new nuclear reactors
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French utility giant EDF and the British government have signed off a deal to build two nuclear reactors at a cost of almost €19 billion.

They would be the UK’s first reactors for close to 20 years and would be built with the help of EDF’s Chinese partners, who plan to have a combined stake of 30 to 40 percent in the venture.

The two reactors are set to be built at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, southwest England.

Last year a protest group set up camp in an abandoned farm on the site of the proposed site, in opposition at the expansion.

Since Japan’s “Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011”>, Germany, France and Italy have scaled back nuclear plans.

By comparison, Britain’s government and main opposition parties are happy to get behind them, especially as anti-nuclear feeling is more muted across the country.

UK prime minister David Cameron said: “Earlier this month I spoke about our new industrial policy that looks to the future, and about our determination to embrace new technologies and back new industries and energy sources so that they can flourish and help us build a rebalanced economy across the country.

“As part of our plan to help Britain succeed, after months of negotiation, today we have a deal for the first nuclear power station in a generation to be built in Britain. This deal means £16bn of investment coming into the country and the creation of 25,000 jobs, which is brilliant news for the South West and for the country as a whole.

“As we compete in the tough global race, this underlines the confidence there is in Britain and makes clear that we are very much open for business.”

EDF Group chairman and CEO Henri Proglio said: “The agreement in principle reached today with the British government significantly strengthens the industrial and energy co-operation between France and the United Kingdom.

“The project at Hinkley Point represents a great opportunity for the French nuclear industry in a context of a renewal of competencies.

“This project will deliver a boost to the economy and create job opportunities on both sides of the channel and will enable the United Kingdom, a country in which EDF is already the leading producer of electricity, to increase the share of carbon-free energy in its production mix.”