Following a full review of the Hinkley Point C project and imposing significant new safeguards, the UK Government has decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation.
The new legal framework will mean that:
The Government will be able to prevent the sale of EDF’s controlling stake prior to the completion of construction, without the prior notification and agreement of ministers.
After Hinkley, the British Government will take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects. This will ensure that significant stakes cannot be sold without the Government’s knowledge or consent.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation will be directed to require notice from developers or operators of nuclear sites of any change of ownership or part-ownership
There will be reforms to the Government’s approach to the ownership and control of critical infrastructure to ensure that the full implications of foreign ownership are scrutinised for the purposes of national security.
These changes in the new legal framework will allow the UK Government to introduce a consistent approach to considering the national security implications of all significant investments in critical infrastructure, including nuclear energy. The changes mean that, while the UK will remain one of the most open economies in the world, the public can be confident that foreign direct investment works in the country’s best interests.