In the remote countryside of southwest Britain, construction has started on the first permanent structures at the 25-billion-U.S.-dollar Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Financed jointly by the Chinese and the French, it’s a significant step towards building the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in nearly three decades. As CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports, three million cubic meters of earth have been moved for the project, about half of the final amount. And the first concrete has been poured, a significant moment of permanency. It’s taken years getting to this point, a remarkable joint venture involving the governments of the UK, China and France. For such a gargantuan project, it needs its own jetty for building materials shipped by sea. Running at full capacity, the reactor will provide around seven per cent of Britain’s energy needs – British consumers controversially repaying the initial cash outlay in higher energy costs. For the governments of Britain and China, Hinkley Point could act as a possible trigger for a further eight nuclear power stations, some entirely paid for and built by China. This could prove to be not just a renaissance for the nuclear power industry here, but also for longer-term Sino-UK industrial links.
ECNS 3rd May 2017 read more »