Hinkley Point 35-year contract will cost UK $1.3 billion a year: Expert

Anmar Frangoul | Special to CNBC.com
The Hinkley Point deal is deeply problematic: Expert

The debate surrounding the U.K. government's decision to give the green light to the £18 billion ($23.81 billion) Hinkley Point C nuclear project rages on.

The joint project, financed by France and China, has proved controversial in some quarters. Critics have raised concerns over the fixed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity for 35 years once the plant begins generating as well as potential risks to the U.K.'s security, given that foreign firms will have a stake in crucial U.K. energy infrastructure.

"It seems to be a very problematic deal: there are quicker, faster, cheaper more reliable ways of moving forward," Paul Dorfman, honorary senior research fellow at University College London's Energy Institute, told CNBC on Friday. "The deal itself seems to be deeply problematical and the reactor seems to be a failing reactor," Dorfman added.

On Thursday, Greg Clark, the U.K.'s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said that a series of measures would be introduced to enhance security and ensure the Hinkley project would not be able to change hands without the government agreeing.

"Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear is an important part of ensuring our future low-carbon energy security," Clark added.

Dorfman, however, remained skeptical: "It looks like a very poor piece of policymaking which will unfortunately lock us into a 35-year contract – an unheard-of 35-year contract – index-linked, at four times the price it was mooted," he said.

"We at the Institute estimate that means that hardworking U.K. taxpayers and electricity consumers will be putting £1 billion per year into the deep pockets of the French and Chinese corporations," he added.

CNBC's Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report