After a controversial delay, Theresa May has approved the construction of Hinkley Point, a new nuclear power station in the UK costing £18bn. The plant in Somerset is being funded by the French utility firm EDF and China General Nuclear, which has led to concerns about the consequences of foreign investment to the economy and national security. Shortly after taking over from David Cameron, May halted the decision about the project which caused tensions with China. However, there is now a new legal framework in place which will allow the UK government to intervene to prevent the sale of infrastructure assets such as Hinkley Point in the future.
Although the project will create more than 25,000 jobs and apprenticeships, with aims of meeting 7% of Britain’s electricity needs, there are fears concerning escalating costs and the environmental impact of a new nuclear plant site. For example, although nuclear power does not create greenhouse gases associated with climate change, it does leave waste that is stored underground for hundreds of years. However for some, this has been considered as a deal which is positive for business confidence at a time of economic uncertainty.