The UK’s first nuclear power station for a generation is in fresh doubt after the government made a surprise announcement to postpone a final decision until early autumn.
French energy giant EDF’s board gave the final green light for the £18 billion Hinkley Point project in Somerset yesterday following numerous delays.
However within hours of the go-ahead, newly appointed Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the government will review it before making a final decision.
He added: “The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the government believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The government will now consider carefully all the component parts of this project and make its decision in the early autumn.”
The news follows calls from campaigners to stop the nuclear project, which is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s power needs.
Last year the government pledged £2 billion of investment for Hinkley Point while a Chinese firm said it would invest £6 billion.
One of EDF’s board members quit yesterday as he believes the project is “financially very risky” and could move France away from renewable energy.