LONDON – Britain gave the go-ahead Tuesday for the first of a planned new generation of nuclear power plants.
Energy Minister Ed Davey told Parliament he was granting planning consent for French energy giant EDF to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, southwestern England.
The proposed £14 billion ($21.1 billion) power station will be capable of producing 7 percent of Britain’s electricity, enough to power 5 million homes, EDF has said.
Davey said affordable nuclear power would play a “crucial role” in ensuring secure, diverse supplies of energy in Britain and decarbonizing the electricity sector and the economy.
EDF is still in negotiations with the government over what it can charge for electricity produced by the plant, known as the “strike” price.
Hinkley Point, to be operated by EDF subsidiary NNB Generation, will be the first new nuclear power plant in Britain since Sizewell B, which started generating electricity in 1995.
It is estimated the project will create between 20,000 and 25,000 jobs while it is being built, and 900 permanent jobs once it goes into operation.