The UK Government has signed a civil nuclear agreement with a Chinese counterpart intended to boost UK economy with hundreds of millions of pounds over several years to British companies.
Under the agreement, Chinese companies can invest in Hinkley Point C, the first nuclear reactor plant to be constructed in the UK for a generation.
Additionally, the nations will also cooperate on the wider nuclear fuel supply chain cycle by developing and exporting innovative solutions jointly in areas such as waste treatment and decommissioning.
As part of a separate landmark agreement, the Chinese companies can own and operate a Chinese-designed nuclear power station, upon meeting the stringent requirements of the UK’s independent regulator.
The two nations have also agreed a ground-breaking joint statement on climate change, as part of joint broader work to reduce emissions and enhance energy security, central to which will be achieving a global, legally binding and ambitious climate change agreement in Paris in 2015.
A joint £20m research programme on low carbon innovation has also been launched by the UK and China, which includes research on offshore renewables, low carbon manufacturing processes and technologies, and low carbon cities.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said China and the UK stand united in the UK’s aim to achieve long-lasting energy security in own countries.
Davey said, "Both governments recognise that tackling climate change is fundamental to our future and have committed to reduce emissions while enhancing energy security by investing in nuclear power.
"The joint statement with China reflects our shared intent to re-double efforts for an ambitious global agreement and domestic solutions to climate change."
Image: China and UK governments sign civil nuclear agreement. Photo: © Crown.