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EDF Energy welcomes Government decisions on nuclear as “important steps” and looks forward to action on other issues later this autumn

By EDF | Posted October 18, 2010

EDF Energy said today’s decisions by the Government on nuclear were important steps on the design of the policy framework for a low carbon economy.

The announcements provide greater clarity which will allow potential investors to further develop their plans to develop secure, affordable low carbon energy supplies for customers.

Progress on a range of other issues is still needed, but today’s steps are among the items EDF Energy, along with its partner Centrica, has consistently argued are vital to its proposals to build and operate four new nuclear power plants. Other necessary steps will include delivery of the Government’s policy to provide a floor price for carbon. Further, reform of the electricity market is also required, and the company looks forward to forthcoming consultations this Autumn on how these will be implemented.

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “Today’s decisions by the Secretary of State are important steps along the road to a framework that will allow investment in affordable, secure, low carbon nuclear energy.

“Clarity on all aspects of the investment framework is vital for us to move ahead and we welcome today’s demonstration of commitment from Government.

“We will analyse the details of today’s decisions carefully. We expect early ratification of the Energy National Policy Statements by Parliament in the Spring which will include a strong statement on the need for nuclear. Such a clear statement is crucially important to permit the planning system to work.

“The signing of the Justification for new nuclear build by the Secretary of State confirms the Government’s commitment. We welcome his conclusion that the intensive consultation to date means no further inquiry on justification is required. We also welcome the clarity from the Secretary of State around the question of subsidy for new nuclear. We have made clear for some time that new nuclear should be delivered without subsidy. Therefore, it is helpful that the Secretary of State has clarified this matter in a sensible way.

“We also need continued progress on other elements of the framework and, in particular, a timely consultation on how the Government will implement its stated policy to provide a carbon price floor. We also need progress on reform of the electricity market where EDF Energy has proposed low carbon capacity payments to support security of supply. We expect a White Paper in the Spring on these matters.

“All this is vital to encourage the investment in clean, secure, low carbon nuclear energy that UK consumers urgently need.

“At this time when there are many demands on public spending, our private sector plans will deliver a, major boost to the growth in the economy both in the regions, around our new nuclear build sites, and nationally.

“Investment in large capital infrastructure projects is critical to create jobs.

“That is why it is important that the Government continues to provide co-ordinated leadership to ensure we have the right policy framework in place to make the large investment in new nuclear build.

“Already British businesses are benefiting from 130 contracts worth tens of millions of pounds. In Somerset, there will be up to 5,000 jobs on site during construction and 900 permanent jobs during operation.

“We wish to continue to progress our plans on site for our first new plant to be operational in 2018. This is underpinned by strong local support with a recent poll showing a large majority of local people in favour of Hinkley Point C, with about four times as many people supporting the plans as opposing.*

“Alongside these steps by Government, EDF Energy has been making significant progress on its plans, including on planning, reactor design approval, developing the supply chain, recruiting the people needed and carrying out detailed consultation with the local communities.

“In the context of our increasing commitment, EDF Energy is eager to continue to see the increasing commitment of Government. Today’s decisions are helpful steps on that road.”


Notes to editors:


*Further Background


Last month the company held a supply chain event attended by more than 470 companies to set out the multi-billion pound opportunities that will be created. The company this month completed the stage two consultation on its plans for Hinkley Point in Somerset. About 3,000 people engaged in the consultation. A survey by ICM following the consultation among people living within about 25 miles of the site, found that 77% believe new nuclear power should be part of balanced energy mix.