A serious stumbling block now threatens the prospect of China’s cash for UK nuclear plants materialising − and also the likelihood of a successful outcome to COP26, the global climate conference which the British government is due to host later this year. In order to finance the construction of nuclear stations that are supposed to generate up to 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity, the British government needs Chinese money. Without it, the already prohibitively expensive projects may become completely unaffordable. Neither the deeply indebted French government-owned company EDF, which is building two stations, each with twin reactors, nor the UK government is prepared to underwrite the entire cost of the projects. This is because of the huge sums required − around £45 billion (US$62bn). However, the UK government faces severe political pressure to end Chinese involvement, because of the perceived threat of ceding control over vital services such as the electricity supply.
Eco Business 17th Aug 2021 read more »