The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has unveiled a package of financial benefits for the communities that host new nuclear power plants.
Under the new proposals, communities around eight sites in England and Wales could receive benefits worth up to £1000/MW over 40 years from when the nuclear power stations start operations.
As part of the package, communities living around the site of the UK’s proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset could receive up to £128m in funding.
DECC said the package will be delivered in two phases, while the funds will be tailored to specific areas and focus on ensuring a local economic legacy from the projects.
Under the first phase, local authorities will benefit from the business rates retention arrangements, which were introduced by the government in April 2013.
DECC said authorities hosting new nuclear power stations will benefit for a maximum of the first ten years of operation from a share of the significant increase in business rates revenues that will arise.
The second phase is intended to deliver the remainder of the package over the period 2030-60 which will be an annual payment of equivalent amounts, funded by the DECC.
UK Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said new nuclear plants will have a central role to play in the country’s energy strategy, providing heat and light to homes across the nation.
"This package is in the interests of local people, who will manage it to ensure long-term meaningful benefit to the community," Fallon said.
"It’s proportionate to the scale and lifespan of new nuclear power stations and it builds on the major economic benefits they will bring in terms of jobs, investment and use of local services."
It has been projected that over the next 20 years approximately £930bn will be spent in building new reactors and £250bn in decommissioning those that will go off-line.
Image: UK Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon. Photo: courtesy of the Department of Energy and Climate.