China will be cut out of future involvement in developing new nuclear power stations, Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday, saying that a potential adversary could have no role in Britain’s “critical national infrastructure”. Under a deal signed by Theresa May in 2016 the Chinese state nuclear firm CGN agreed to invest £6 billion for a 33.5 per cent stake in the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset. As part of the deal the government at the time agreed to pursue approval for CGN’s nuclear reactor technology so it could be used at a new power station at Bradwell in Essex that would be owned and run by the Chinese company. But amid growing concerns over Beijing’s involvement and investment in industries and areas of research from telecommunications to nanotechnology, Johnson said that the government was walking away from the 2016 deal. In the Commons he also suggested that the plan to allow CGN to own and operate its own plant in Bradwell had been abandoned. He pointed to the National Security and Investment Bill, going through parliament at present, which will allow the government to “screen” and potentially block sensitive foreign investments. However, he added: “What I don’t want to do is pitchfork away wantonly all Chinese investment in this country or minimise the importance in this country of having a trading relationship with China.” Ministers have committed to building at least one new nuclear power station by 2024 and have unveiled a funding mechanism to make nuclear power more attractive to domestic investors. They hope it will allow the £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk to go ahead. CGN has a 20 per cent stake in the project — due to be built by the French power firm EDF — but is likely to pull out in light of the government’s decision on Bradwell. A government source said they hoped the Chinese investment in Sizewell would be replaced by more “palatable investors from like-minded countries”.
Times 25th Nov 2021 read more »
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson told MPs he does not want to “pitchfork away” all investment from China in response to a question about Bradwell B. Matthew Pennycook, Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, pressed the Prime Minister on Bradwell B – the proposed nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea put forward by China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) – in the House of Commons. Mr Pennycook said: “The Government’s Integrated Review concluded the Chinese state poses a systemic challenge to our national security and the Prime Minister has made clear that when it comes to China we must remain vigilant about our critical national infrastructure. “Can he therefore confirm today unequivocally that plans for China General Nuclear to own and operate its own plant in Bradwell in Essex have been abandoned?” Mr Johnson confirmed the Government doesn’t want to see “undue influence by potentially adversarial countries in our critical national infrastructure” and insisted “there will be more information” coming on Bradwell.
Basildon Echo 24th Nov 2021 read more »