The British government announced it reached a commercial agreement with French energy company EDF Group on a proposed investment contract for a nuclear power station in Somerset, near the western British coast.
"This is an excellent deal for Britain and British consumers," British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said in a statement Monday. "For the first time, a nuclear power station in this country will be built without money from the British taxpayer. It will increase energy security and resilience from a safe, reliable, home-grown source of electricity."
EDF Group said China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corp. will invest in the nuclear plant as minority shareholders. The British government said it expects the plant will cost approximately $25.8 billion to build.
Davey hinted at the deal last week in an interview with the BBC. Advocacy group Friends of Earth said the government should focus on renewable energy resources like wind and solar power instead of nuclear power.
The government said the nuclear power station could cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 9 million tons per year. It will produce enough electricity to meet the annual energy demands of nearly 6 million homes once it enters into service in the 2020s.
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