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Hinkley gets green light, but with new strings attached

Words: Huw Morris
Illustrative view of twin reactors Hinkley Point C

The first nuclear reactor to be built in the UK in two decades took a major step forward after the government gave the go-ahead to the controversial Hinkley Point C scheme.

The £18 billion nuclear power plant had been delayed after Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a review of the proposal.

The station will be built by French state company EDF backed by major investment from China. But the government is introducing new security restrictions as part of the deal.

“Ministers will impose a new legal framework for future foreign investment in Britain’s critical infrastructure, which will include nuclear energy and apply after Hinkley,” said a government statement.

Under this framework, the government would “take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects” so “significant stakes cannot be sold without the government’s knowledge or consent”.