UK in talks with EDF over nuclear plant construction

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s government is in talks with French firm EDF Energy over the construction of a 20 billion-pound ($26.8 billion) nuclear power plant in eastern England.

Officials said Monday that negotiations are taking place over the Sizewell C site in Suffolk, which could generate 3.2 gigawatts of electricity — enough to provide 7% of the country’s energy demands.

Any deal would need to be approved on areas such as value for money and affordability, and Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the talks with EDF are not a “green light” for construction to begin.

“What we will be doing is looking to see whether we can reach an investment decision in this Parliament on that particular project,” he told the BBC. “We will only do so if this delivers value for money for taxpayers and consumers.”

EDF says its eight existing nuclear power stations in the U.K. generate around a fifth of the country’s electricity.

The statement confirming the talks came as the government outlined its plans to cut emissions and expand clean energy. Officials say that, in total, the plans will support 220,000 jobs in the next decade.

“Today’s plan establishes a decisive and permanent shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy sources that will put our country at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution,” Sharma said.

The document outlines plans to develop offshore wind turbines, accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging points, improve energy efficiency in homes and move away from fossil fuel boilers.

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