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U.K. comes closer to multibillion pound nuclear reactor deal

Posting in Energy

The U.K. government and Electricite de France SA (EDF) are close to shaking hands on a deal that would see the construction of two nuclear reactors on the west cost of England.

The deal, which is shortly to be announced, would allow the French energy firm to build and operate a pair of reactors at Hinkley Point in the county of Somerset. A "strike price," the guaranteed price EDF would sell power for, is close to being reached between the government and company. Once achieved, the construction of the plants -- led by the French consortium -- can go ahead.

According to sources, EDF has been asking for approximately £95 a megawatt hour, while the U.K. government has bartered for between £80 to £85 a megawatt hour.

The project is expected to cost roughly £14bn ($22.4bn).

On Sunday, U.K. energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey told the BBC that a "massive wave" of investment in nuclear and other technology from China, Japan and Korea would help secure the U.K's future power supplies, and the Hinkley Point arrangement was "close" to being finalized.

"The Chinese, along with the Japanese and the Koreans are very interested in the opportunities in the British nuclear sector. I think it is really possible we will see massive Chinese investment, not just in nuclear but across the board," Davey said.

"I think we will see massive Japanese and Korean investment. It is really critical we get that investment."

Reports suggest that China General Nuclear Power Group could take up to a 49 percent stake in the project, and that talks between the Chinese power giant and EDF have been conducted for the past year to iron out the scheme's details.

Via: MarketWatch

Image credit: Flickr

— By on October 13, 2013, 9:29 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure