Reflecting the increasingly sour relationship between the London and Beijing, the U.K. government is hoping to nudge China General Nuclear (CGN) out of its 20% ownership of the £20 billion Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk and open the project up to new (and preferably North American) investors, the Financial Times reported Monday. It is the U.K.’s latest step to remove CGN from all future nuclear energy projects in the U.K. and protect its critical infrastructure from China. The change in British mood affects other nuclear projects as well, including as the Bradwell-on-Sea plant in Essex which was to be owned by CGN, as well as the heavily delayed Hinkley Point C project—raising questions about the future of the U.K’s energy make-up. There are three nuclear plants being built with EPR technology—Finland’s Olkiluoto plant, France’s Flamanville and the U.K.’s Hinkley Point C—and they have all gone through embarrassing delays and cost overruns during construction. The only operating nuclear plant that uses EPR technology—China’s Taishan—was built by CGN.
Fortune 27th July 2021 read more »
BORIS JOHNSON’s £23billion nuclear power plant is under threat from the Government’s crackdown on China, according to sources who have warned of a “politically unpalatable” situation developing.
Express 28th July 2021 read more »
Nuclear energy is usually in the news “because something’s gone wrong”. Or so says The Economist’s Oliver Morton, but this week the issue is making headlines after Whitehall sources confirmed reports that Downing Street is having second thoughts about a tie-up with China to produce a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK. If energy policy does become “another victim” of the “geopolitical recalibration” of relations between the two nations, the UK may struggle to hit its target of achieving non-carbon energy generation by 2050, says The Telegraph. Yet while this dilemma highlights potential benefits of nuclear energy, critics point to the potential risks of, as Morton puts it, things “going wrong” with the technology – with the threat of nuclear warfare further increasing opposition. In the UK, attitudes to the energy source have shifted over the decade following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In 2012, the first in a series of government surveys to gauge public opinion about nuclear energy and climate change found that 30% of households believed the risks of nuclear outweighed the benefits. But the latest poll findings, published in May, show that this figure has dropped to 17%, while 38% of the more than 4,000 households quizzed felt that nuclear provides a safe source of energy for the UK. Opinions about nuclear energy’s role in combating climate change have also changed, with 34% in 2012 agreeing that nuclear could help in the UK’s push to tackle the problem, rising to 38% in 2021.
The Week 29th July 2021 read more »