Mixed reactions after Hinkley Point C deal is signed at last

An artist's impression of the future Hinkley Point C.

An artist's impression of the future Hinkley Point C. - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new nuclear reactor at Somerset’s Hinkley Point have passed a key milestone, after contracts were signed by the Government and energy firm EDF – prompting mixed reactions.

Somerset County Council heralded ‘the start of a new economic chapter’ as the two parties put pen to paper on a deal, while anti-nuclear lobbyists Stop Hinkley described the move as ‘an enormous error of judgement’.

Council leader John Osman said: “The contract signing is the point of no return on this extremely important project.

“Hinkley Point C is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our businesses, young people and the county as a whole.”

Predictions say Hinkley will provide seven per cent of the nation’s electricity, create 25,000 jobs and boost the regional economy to the tune of £200 million a year.

But Stop Hinkley spokesman Roy Pumfrey believes the deal is bad news.

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He said: “We will be paying the bill for this folly for decades. It’s a bad deal for consumers, a bad deal for Somerset, a bad deal for the country and a bad deal for the planet.

“Somerset will fall behind other parts of the country which have a more forward-thinking attitude to renewable energy.

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“While other parts of the world are making fuel poverty a thing of the past and generating jobs from cheap solar and wind energy, Somerset will be left with a legacy of nuclear waste which we will be expected to look after for the next 160 years.”

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