UK and France pledge to help SMEs in nuclear supply chain

The UK and French Governments have agreed to work together to build new nuclear power stations and maximise opportunities for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the supply chains. […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK and French Governments have agreed to work together to build new nuclear power stations and maximise opportunities for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the supply chains.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey and French Energy Minister Phillipe Martin met during the Franco-British Summit in Oxfordshire to discuss how the two nations can develop interconnectors, nuclear and renewable energy projects.

They signed a declaration committing to developing safe nuclear energy and fund joint training and skills centres, with a shared view that nuclear power has a “critical role to play in a cost-effective low carbon transition”.

The announcement comes on the same day higher radiation levels were detected at the Sellafield nuclear waste processing plant in West Cumbria.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Our two countries have a shared interest in tackling climate change and developing low-carbon secure electricity which provides new green jobs and investment.

“Our partnership on nuclear power has already borne fruit, with this Government’s agreement with EDF on key commercial terms for an investment contract that would enable Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

“The declaration we have signed today will further enhance this relationship, allowing us to explore further commercial opportunities to develop nuclear power and to enhance our expertise and skills in this sector.”

As part of the agreement, the two governments will work together to ensure the Hinkley Point C nuclear project meets the EU state rules and wll continue work to build more electricity interconnectors between the two nations.