The proposed 3,200MW nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset could be a defining step on China’s journey to becoming the world’s leading exporter of affordable civil nuclear tech. Julian Turner analyses the £18bn project and traces China’s ascendency as a purveyor of nuclear power. In October, the Chinese Government under President Xi Jinping fired the latest salvo in its battle with Russia for hegemony as the world’s leading exporter of affordable civil nuclear technology. The strategic investment agreement between China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and EDF Energy to build an £24.5bn, 3,200MW nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is part of a wider partnership that includes new nuclear facilities at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell, Essex. The Hinkley Point C deal attracted the most headlines, but for energy analysts a controlling stake at Bradwell – potentially the first Chinese-designed nuclear power plant in the West – is the real prize for President Xi Jinping and his government, and represents a significant milestone in China’s ‘go global’ strategy to export nuclear technology, including heavy components in the supply chain.
Power Technology 1st April 2016 read more »