Coalition hopes to fire up its nuclear power plan

Marion Dakers

THE COALITION hopes to get its nuclear power ambitions back on track this week by signing deals allowing work to go ahead at the new Hinkley Point reactor.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said yesterday the government is “extremely close for a deal with EDF”, after months of wrangling with the French firm over the subsidies paid on energy generated at Hinkley Point C, the first UK nuclear power station built for almost 20 years.

“I’m convinced I’ll be able to look consumers in the eyes, look business in the eyes and say, we’ve got a great deal,” he told the BBC of the deal, which he said will be worth “tens of billions of pounds”.

Meanwhile chancellor George Osborne is expected to reveal that China General Nuclear Power is to take a stake in Hinkley Point, after Centrica withdrew in February.

Osborne, who is in Beijing as part of a trade mission, said yesterday the country should be seen “as a great opportunity, not a threat”.

Davey said “it’s really possible that we’ll see massive Chinese investment not just in nuclear but across the board”.