Nuclear plant deal for Hinkley within 'weeks'
The Government is "within weeks" of agreeing a contract to build Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation, according to a national newspaper report.
The Financial Times reports that energy minister Michael Fallon said he was "working intensely" to close a deal to build a reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset after a lengthy negotiation process. He told the FT: "We're not quite there yet, but I hope we will be in the next few weeks."
Mr Fallon suggested that a contract with French energy giant EDF would send a strong signal about Britain's long-term commitment to nuclear energy, and invite new investment opportunities. He said that a number of East Asian investors, including South Korea, China and Japan, had already shown an interest in UK reactors.
"There's intense interest there because people can see that finally we're getting our civil nuclear programme moving again after the long dead Labour years," said Mr Fallon.
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Talks with EDF stalled earlier this year after they could not agree on the so-called "strike price", the guaranteed price at which electricity can be sold.
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, which signed a co-operation agreement with EDF, could claim a 49% stake in the £14 billion infrastructure project.