The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that the government is to give the go ahead to Chinese companies taking a stake - including potential future majority stakes - in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power.
Today's announcement is the first step and signal by the UK government as part of this memorandum of understanding.
As well as supporting Chinese investment in Britain, the memorandum will make sure that British companies can be part of China's multi billion pound new nuclear programme.
As part of this, the Chancellor has announced that the UK based International Nuclear Service has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Nuclear Power Engineering Company Ltd this week, to share UK experience on radioactive waste management, and will start with some initial training activities for Chinese technicians in the UK later in October.
Welcoming the announcement, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, Lord Hutton said:
“This is further evidence that the UK nuclear market remains an attractive place for overseas investment. Closer cooperation with world’s fastest growing nuclear nation presents substantial opportunities for UK companies with expertise, skills and long experience in nuclear technology.
“Hinkley Point C is a major national infrastructure project that will create tens of thousands of jobs in UK, give a substantial boost to UK construction and manufacturing industries, make major contribution to UK energy security and assist in meeting national carbon reduction targets.”
The design, construction and operation of reactors will be scrutinised, approved and monitored by the robust and powerful UK nuclear regulator.
The memorandum was signed as part of the Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the two countries, and forms the centrepiece of the Chancellor's visit.
The memorandum sets the strategic framework for collaboration on investment, technology, construction and expertise.
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The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) is the trade association and representative voice of Britain’s civil nuclear industry. It represents more than 270 companies including the operators of the nuclear power stations, those engaged in decommissioning, waste management, nuclear liabilities management and all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear equipment suppliers, engineering and construction firms, nuclear research organisations, and legal, financial and consultancy companies.
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