The UK would take “golden shares” in Chinese-owned companies seeking to operate nuclear power plants and insist that the firms are led by British nationals, under plans being considered by ministers to protect the country’s critical national infrastructure. As the Government prepares to announce the phasing out of Huawei technology in Britain’s 5G network, ministers are turning their attention to fears over China’s involvement in the UK nuclear industry. Conservative backbenchers are concerned about plans by China Genera Nuclear Power (CGN), a Chinese state-owned firm, to construct and operate a nuclear plant on the Essex coast. A policy submission drawn up by Sir Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the Commons liaison committee, states that the Bradwell B should be owned and operated by a British-based public limited company in which the Government would take a “special share” – known as a golden share. The shareholding would enable ministers to block the sale of other shares to protect the security interests of the UK, prevent the appointment of board members, and ensure that one or both of the chairman or chief executive is a security-cleared British citizen, according to the proposals.
Telegraph 11th July 2020 read more »
A Chinese-backed plan to build small nuclear reactors in Britain has been snubbed, in the latest sign of the chill in Anglo-Sino relations. DBD, a Cheshire-based engineering firm, was working with China’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology to build a fleet of gas-cooled small reactors, and had hoped to win government funds. However, ministers have awarded £10m each to three rival projects — including an experimental plan for a fusion reactor. A version of the DBD reactor has already been built in China. DBD declined to comment. The snub comes as Britain prepares to sever relations with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to say this week that all Huawei’s kit must be stripped out of the 5G network by 2025, with 4G and 3G products to follow. Britain is also under increasing pressure from the US and Sinosceptic MPs not to let China invest in nuclear power plants in the UK. China General Nuclear hopes to defuse the row over plans to install its Hualong One reactors at Bradwell in Essex by dropping plans to invest at the Sizewell project in Suffolk.
Times 12th July 2020 read more »