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August 29, 2016

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EDF urges UK to approve nuke project

THE head of EDF Energy has urged the British government to approve the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project, an explicit appeal by the French energy giant ahead of a decision due within weeks.

Prime Minister Theresa May intervened last month to delay the 18 billion pound (US$24 billion) project, just hours after it was approved by EDF’s board, former cabinet colleague Vince Cable said.

The government says it will make a final decision in the early fall. Cable said May was concerned about China’s involvement, particularly in terms of national security.

The state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp is EDF’s partner in building the two new reactors at Hinkley Point, southwest England, which would provide about 7 percent of Britain’s electricity.

EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said the Chinese, who will provide 6 billion pounds of funding, were a trusted partner with whom the French had worked building two nuclear reactors in China.

“[The Hinckley Point project] brings the benefits of a 30-year partnership between EDF and CGN in nuclear construction in China, a country with the largest civil nuclear programme in the world,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. “We know and trust our Chinese partners.”

Addressing security concerns, he said all staff on nuclear projects were rigorously vetted and the control systems at Hinkley Point would be isolated from IT systems and the internet.


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