Thank you for contacting me about nuclear power and Hinkley Point C.
The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the Government still believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The Nuclear Industrial Strategy published in 2013 in partnership with industry establishes a long term approach for the sector to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in this country.
Following a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project, and a revised agreement with EDF, the Government has decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation. However, ministers will impose a new legal framework for future foreign investment in Britain's critical infrastructure, which will include nuclear energy and apply after Hinkley.
Please let me assure you that Officials and Ministers are very much aware of the previous performance problems that have been encountered at nuclear sites in France and Finland in relation to the reactors. I have been informed that they continue to keep a very close watch on the progress at these sites. There are clearly lessons to be learnt from the French and Finnish experiences with EPR, and I am confident that these will be taken on board in the UK.
A power station at Hinkley Point has the potential to reduce the UK's carbon emissions, bring billions of private investment into the UK economy and create around 25,000 jobs at the peak of construction. It will provide a clean source of home-grown energy, providing 7 per cent of the country's energy needs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.