UK, China poised for deal on world’s costliest nuclear plant


The United Kingdom and China are set to announce an accord that will give the Asian nation a stake in Electricite de France SA’s Hinkley Point project, Britain’s first nuclear plant in three decades and the most expensive atomic energy station ever. The proposed deal is likely to be announced during a state visit to Britain by President Xi Jinping this week and follows protracted talks between EDF and its Chinese partners. The two nations will publish investments and deals worth a “huge” amount of money, including on nuclear power, Zhang Ji, assistant minister of commerce, said last week in Beijing. EDF will still have to make a final investment decision. The U.K. government says new nuclear plants are a crucial part of the energy mix as Britain plans to cut carbon emissions while securing predictable electricity supplies. With construction costs estimated at £24.5 billion ($37.9 billion) by the European Commission and bolstered by U.K. subsidies at twice the current wholesale power price, opponents have described Hinkley as “the most expensive object on earth.”

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