FORMER Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to Somerset nearly two years ago to announce a new energy strategy at Hinkley Point C.

On April 7, 2022, Mr Johnson, accompanied by Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, unveiled the British Energy Security Strategy at the nuclear construction site.

He also toured the site to see construction progress, gave interviews and met with workers, including trainee reactor operators and apprentices.

Mr Kwarteng (who later spent 38 days as Chancellor under Liz Truss) also spoke to press from the new Simulator Building on site.

Their strategy included a shift towards homegrown power, aiming to boost nuclear generation significantly and to achieve up to 24GW by 2050.

A new government body, Great British Nuclear, which was founded to expedite new projects, was also announced.

And officials said the fastest way to get more nuclear power in Britain would be to replicate Hinkley's design at Sizewell C in Suffolk. 

The construction project at Sizewell was given the green light in January.

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The strategy did not stop at nuclear power; it also included directives to boost clean energy and hasten its deployment.

Mr Johnson said: "We're setting out bold plans to scale up and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain – from new nuclear to offshore wind – in the decade ahead."

Stuart Crooks, HPC managing director, said: "It’s been great to host our prime minister at site this morning.

"He was really impressed by the progress we’re making and the people he met.

"Today’s Energy Security Strategy announcement is great news for nuclear.

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"It will help ensure we preserve the skills and experience we’ve grown on this project.

"It’s fantastic to have been at the centre of something so important for the country.

"A big thank you to the many people who've worked so hard to make this visit such a success."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited the construction site just over a year later.

He praised workers after a wide-ranging Q&A session but accused the government of “holding our country back” after a series of delays to the project.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the estimated final bill for Hinkley Point C will soar by a third after a re-evaluation of the schedule and costs.

Unit 1 at the site is now due to be brought into service around the end of the decade, showing a delay from the plans to start generating power in 2027.