Delays to the building of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station would not risk energy security, according to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd.

Her comments came after a decision by EDF on whether to fund the first new nuclear power plant in the UK for decades has been reportedly delayed again.

EDF will now make a final investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor in September, according to comments made by France's economy minister Emmanuel Macron to a French newspaper.

In a letter to Angus MacNeil, Chair of the House of Commons’ Energy & Climate Change Committee, Rudd said alternative capacity could be put in place.

Rudd said: “While we have every confidence the deal will go ahead, we have arrangements in place to ensure that any potential delay or cancellation to the project does not pose a risk to security of supply for the UK.

“I am clear that keeping the lights on is non-negotiable.”

‘Plan B’

MacNeil responded: “[Rudd’s] letter shows the government has had to finally concede the need for a Plan B on Hinkley, although the detail is sketchy.

“New capacity must be brought online in a way that is compatible with our decarbonisation targets.

“That means limiting the role of fossil fuels and maximising the use of smarter low carbon options to meet demand.”

> Read Rudd's letter