DAVID Cameron and Francois Hollande reaffirmed their support for nuclear power at the 34th Franco-British Summit on Thursday.

The two countries, who are working in co-operation with the Chinese on a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, released a joint statement emphasising the crucial role nuclear power and saying the Final Investment Decision would be announced in the 'near future'.

The statement reads: "France and the United Kingdom welcome the major progress made in recent months with a view to confirming the project to build two EPR reactors on the Hinkley Point site.

"The signing of a framework agreement between EDF and China General Nuclear in October and the State aid approval by the European Commission of the methodology and underpinning the waste transfer contract between EDF energy and the British Government represent significant milestones.

"Following an in-depth internal review, the project's organisation has been fine-tuned to guarantee control of the main operational risks inherent to such a large project.

"EDF is currently devoted to prepare all necessary elements for the announcement of the FID for Hinkley Point C in the near future, with the full support of the French government."

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said this was a clear statement of intent that Hinkley C was definitely going to happen.

"This is an unequivocal statement from the Prime Minister and the President as to where we are.

"We know there has been a lot of speculation over the last few months, but this is just to make certain that this is absolutely going to happen, the last loose ends are being tied up as we speak and will be concluded in the very near future," Mr Liddell-Grainger said.

Supporters of the project hope this will ease doubts concerning the beleaguered plant after French workers union CFE-CGC were reported to have deemed the project 'too risky'.


CFE-CGC occupy two seats on the board of EDF, and spokesman Francis Raillott raised concerns over the lack of progress of a similar reactor in Flamanville, France, arguing the Hinkley C FID should be put back to 2019.

"Right now, Hinkley is too risky for the company," he said. "We think it is better to wait and see. Wait for three years so we can see that everything works... or not," Mr Raillot said.