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Fri November 27 2020

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Nuclear treaty clears way for Chinese construction of UK plants

16 Oct 13 The governments of Britain and China have signed a memorandum of understanding on civil nuclear cooperation, paving the way for the Chinese General Nuclear Power Group to take a large stake in EDF's Hinkley project.

Chancellor George Osborne shakes hands with the deputy head of China’s National Energy Administration and Vice Premier of the State Council, Ma Kai
Chancellor George Osborne shakes hands with the deputy head of China’s National Energy Administration and Vice Premier of the State Council, Ma Kai

The Nuclear Industry Association welcomed the treaty, saying it would strengthen commercial collaboration between the nuclear industries of both countries.

The MoU was signed by chancellor George Osborne on a visit to China this week.

He said: “This agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is the first of this kind between our two countries - between the world’s oldest civil nuclear power and the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear power.

“It means our two governments supporting closer collaboration between British and Chinese companies. It means the potential of more business for British companies and more jobs in the UK, and lower long-term energy costs for consumers.

“And I hope this strategic agreement will form the foundation for specific areas of commercial cooperation.”

Mr Osborne said that the nuclear agreement was a "two-way street", enabling UK companies to participate in China's nuclear power projects too. Details of the agreement have yet to be made public, however.

Mr Osborne said that it was his “personal priority for Britain to remain the most open country in the west to investment from China”.

He also agreed the opening up of the UK financial sector to Chinese banks.

The final hurdle before main work on Hinkley Point C can begin is an agreement between the government and EDF on the strike price to be paid for power generated there. Energy minister Ed Davey indicated at the weekend in a BBC television interview that a deal was “extremely close”.

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MPU
MPU

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