Unease at China’s grip on Britain’s nuclear future. China is still investing in big British infrastructure projects despite concerns over the Huawei deal and fears among the UK’s intelligence partners of exposure to foreign influence. Construction is well under way at Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Somerset despite the controversy, and Beijing is also being wooed for the HS2 high-speed rail link. Britain’s commitment to welcoming Chinese money for everything from its 5G network to cinemas and electric taxis has made it the top European destination for direct investment from China, but a former government energy adviser asked yesterday why the nuclear projects, which also include Chinese-backed power plants in Suffolk and Essex, did not attract more scrutiny. Paul Dorfman of the Energy Institute at University College London said: “There’s significant controversy around security implications of involving Huawei, yet plans for China General Nuclear Power Corporation to build nuclear reactors on UK soil are progressing almost unnoticed. “Security experts have said letting Huawei in would compromise security yet they seem content that letting China build nuclear reactors here would be OK.” The US has also expressed concern about Britain’s nuclear ties with Chinese state-owned energy companies. The British government reviewed China’s investment in nuclear power shortly after Theresa May became prime minister in 2016, and decided that safeguards were adequate.
Times 8th May 2019 read more »