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Davey approves Hinkley new nuclear plant

Energy secretary Ed Davey has approved planning permission for construction of new nuclear power station Hinkley Point C today.

Davey had three months whether to agree or disagree with the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendation to government made on 22 December 2012.

“Today I am publishing a development consent order for Hinkley Point C,” Davey told the Commons.

“The order will allow from a planning point of view two EPR and associated developments such as freight development.”

Davey said he considered all aspects of construction and was convinced the benefits outweigh any adverse impacts.

But he said the discussions on a funded decommissioning plan and a strike price was “still ongoing”.

“That, of course, is not the end of the story,” he added.

“Decisions remain to be made on the funded decommissioning programme and strike price. Discussions on both these subjects are ongoing (and intense), but I expect them to be concluded shortly.”

Construction of Hinkley Point C will be the first new nuclear power station since Sizewell B was completed in 1995.

The only issue outstanding is for the government to agree a contracts for difference strike price - a long term contract between energy suppliers and the government which includes a guaranteed minimum price for electricity generated by Hinkley C.

EdF told NCE earlier this month that finance is the remaining obstacle before giving the project the green light.

“At this point the project is shovel ready and is set up for successful delivery,” EdF director of strategy and corporate affairs Paul Spence told NCE.

“We need confidence in the revenues,” said Spence. “Government holds the key.”

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