Letter Barry Jones Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations, University: The reports on security concerns about Chinese involvement in any new nuclear power stations in the UK are timely. Chinese motives remain opaque and anxieties about the impossibility of guaranteeing that computer-based operating systems in nuclear power stations cannot be compromised are wholly appropriate. The possible Chinese construction and operation of a new nuclear power station at Bradwell, in Essex, merely reinforces such concerns. Bradwell is one of the more unsuitable locations for a new nuclear power station, according to the government’s own sustainability studies, and is only 50 miles from central London. It is only on the list of potential sites because EDF Energy needs to offload the Bradwell site as a condition of building a new power station at Sizewell in Suffolk. The shortcomings of Bradwell as a new nuclear site were overridden by simple assertions of the “overriding importance of new nuclear power stations” for the UK; a non-sequitur that is being rendered increasingly redundant by the steady progress of lower-cost renewable electricity generation and rapid advances in storage capacity.
Times 15th Aug 2016 read more »