The UK and French Governments have signed a declaration on their commitment to develop new nuclear power stations, maximise opportunities for SMEs in nuclear supply-chains and fund joint training and skills centres.

As part of the declaration, the countries have decided to work with the European Commission on a state aid consultation for Hinkley Point C to demonstrate that the project is in compliance with the state aid regulations.

The countries will also work on developing skilled workforces through joint training and R&D programmes; and improving capabilities in civil nuclear emergency planning and security.

The latest move is part of the broader UK-French initiatives on energy and climate policy including backing the Commission’s proposal for a 40% EU domestic emissions reduction target for 2030, safeguarding governments’ flexibility over their energy mixes; and securing reform of the emission trading system.

Notable 2014 summit deliverables include a cooperation agreement between the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) and Partenariat France Monde Electricite (PFME) to help enhance dialogue, information exchange and communications between members of the SME Partnership and PFME.

"The latest move is part of the broader UK-French initiatives on energy and climate policy."

Another deliverable will include AREVA offering support to the National Skills Academy for nuclear development of UK nuclear energy skills that will include a total of £100,000 to the supply chain apprentices for the nuclear programme managed by NSA Nuclear, creating 20 more apprenticeships.

UK Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Edward Davey the two countries have a shared interest in tackling climate change and developing low-carbon secure electricity which provides new green jobs and investment.

Davey said: "Today, we reiterated our resolve to work together towards achieving an ambitious and legally-binding agreement at the next COP in Paris in 2015, and to support an EU-wide emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030.

"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."

Image: UK-France Summit. Photo: courtesy of the UK Government.