UK government strikes deal to build nuclear plant with EDF and Chinese investors

LONDON – Britain’s government says it struck a deal with France’s EDF energy and a group of Chinese investors to build the first nuclear power plant in a generation.

Energy secretary Ed Davey told the BBC the power project is critical to the country’s efforts to “to keep the lights on and to power British business.” The plant at Hinkley point in southwestern England won’t start generating power until 2023.

One of the last barriers to the deal was removed during a visit to Asia last week by Treasury chief George Osborne, who announced Chinese firms would be permitted to invest in civilian nuclear projects. The government is revealing specifics Monday.

China relies on foreign technology for its generating stations. However, it is trying to develop its own reactors and other equipment.