China’s key role in UK nuclear power is a ‘ticking time bomb’
CHINESE involvement in British nuclear power is a “ticking time bomb”, an expert has warned, as MPs urge the Government to scale back plans to involve companies from the communist state in new power stations.
French energy company EDF submitted a planning application in May to build the new Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, with China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), a Chinese state-owned energy company.
CGN is also helping EDF to build Hinkley Point C in Somerset, and will be the lead partner for the planned Bradwell B power station in Essex, using its own Hualong One technology.
Anthony Glees, of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, said: “It could be a ticking time bomb... I do not think Trump’s White House would expect anything other from us but to say ‘no’.” Former Tory Party leader Sir Iain
Duncan Smith has called for a “root and branch” review of the UK’s dependency on China. “Our energy policy is in the hands of the Chinese,” he said. “Just in that one sector, we have complete domination by China when we should be strategically reviewing it.”
The Government also faces opposition from other backbench MPs.
Neil O’Brien MP, a co-founder of the China Research Group, said: “There are big questions about them building a nuclear power station.”
The US government placed sanctions on CGN last year, accusing it of attempting to steal US technology and transferring it to the Chinese military. CGN has denied all of the accusations.
An EDF spokesman said the Hinkley Point and Sizewell stations would use European reactor technology. He said it would be “for the Government to decide who can invest” in the Sizewell and Bradwell stations. “Our aim is for Sizewell C to be majority-owned by British investors,” he added.