The announcement of the first nuclear power station to be built in Europe since the 2011 Fukushima disaster has been met with decidedly mixed reactions.
The U.K.'s £16 billion ($25.8 billion) Hinkley Point plant, which will have two new reactors, will be made by French company EDF with backing from Chines estate-backed nuclear companies CGN and CNNC.
Controversy has been sparked over the "strike price", the fixed sum paid to utilities for the energy they generate, of £92.50 per megawatt/hour, which is double the current market rate. The announcement came after several of the biggest U.K.energy providers announced hefty price hikes. EDF will invest £3.5 billion inequity, but will make some of that back by selling stakes to the Chinese companies.
The high "strike price" means that the U.K. ratepayer is effectively subsidizing the foreign companies and investors which are building the new plant, Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School, told CNBC.
"There are no local resources involved. Foreign capitals and technologies are being subsidized to deliver the most expensive resource. It's totally bats," he said.
"It's exactly the wrong kind of investment. This is a mausoleum to the folly of the past, not a new renaissance."
Others welcomed the plans for the plant, which should provide around 7 percent of the U.K.'s electricity when it is fully operational, hopefully in 2023.
(Read more: Japan set to be nuclear power-free, again)