Project promoter EDF Energy is “devoted” to making a decision on the long-awaited Hinkley Point C new nuclear project, a statement from the French and UK governments has insisted.
UK prime minister David Cameron and French president Francois Hollande met in Amiens yesterday at the 34th Franco-British summit.
Amid a range of documents to emerge from the meeting was an ‘annex on a comprehensive partnership on civil nuclear energy’.
“France and the UK welcome the major progress made in recent months with a view to confirming the project to build two EPR reactors on the Hinkley Point site,” said this annex.
“EDF is currently devoted to prepare all necessary elements for the announcement of a final investment decision for Hinkley Point C in the near future, with the full support of the French government.
“This major strategic project is a pillar of the bilateral relationship and will be a key aspect of Britain’s energy policy, offering the guarantee of safe, competitive, decarbonised energy by 2025.”
Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner earlier this year described the wait for the decision to build the Somerset nuclear plant as “extremely disappointing”.
Contractors were originally expecting a final investment decision from project promoter EDF on Hinkley Point C by the end of 2014.
But despite a much-publicised agreement between the French energy giant and China General Nuclear Corporation in October 2015, this final investment decision is still awaited.
The Amiens summit led to an agreement for France and the UK to exchange nuclear staff to boost skills.
“Together, the two countries will develop scientific, technical and managerial skills on nuclear projects,” said the documents. ”They will also encourage staff exchanges that can contribute to developing those skills.
”This will enable us to ensure the highest safety standards, respect for the environment and preservation of resources, as well as to increase our capacity for innovation to support technologies and industrial competitiveness.”