The deal has finally been struck, with the Chinese agreeing to fund about one-third of the £18bn cost of EDF’s Hinkley Point C reactor, which aims to be operational by 2025. Prime Minister Cameron announced the “historic” deal, which will see the new station supply enough electricity to power six million homes and create 25,000 jobs. As anticipated, the deal also included investment decisions surrounding the financing of EDFs Sizewell C and a planned Chinese reactor at Bradwell in Essex. But two further pieces of the jigsaw must still be put in place before construction at the Somerset site can begin. These are the Final Investment Decisions by the boards of EDF and CNG, the Chinese partner. However, these are seen as just a formality; it appears unthinkable that they would be anything other than positive given the degree of political commitment.
It is worth noting that the partnership between EDF and the Chinese is nothing new. The French have been involved in the Chinese nuclear programme for some 30 years and are involved in the construction of the Taishan 1 and 2 EPR plants in Guangdong province. The reactors here are of similar design to those at Hinkley Point C, and unlike the projects at Flamanville and Olkiluoto, this project is going very well and is reportedly 40 months ahead of schedule. Something to be said about working with the Chinese?
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