New head of Chinese investor in Hinkley nuclear plant brings military links. China General Nuclear’s role in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has come under scrutiny recently. China General Nuclear, the minority owner of the Hinkley Point C power station, has appointed a chairman with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and the country’s military nuclear programme. Yang Changli made his first appearance as leader of the state-owned conglomerate last week, speaking on the virtues of Communism and the value of a strong nuclear industry. He previously served as deputy general manager at China National Nuclear Corporation, the organisation responsible for developing the country’s nuclear weapons. In a speech to CGN staff, Mr Changli outlined his vision for the nuclear giant and called on his colleagues to build a company that was more infused with Communist ideals. He made his remarks at a ceremony to mark the new company strategy held at its own university, which is designated as an official Communist Party school. Mr Changli spoke of “in-depth implementation of general secretary Xi Jinping’s important expositions on high-quality development”, and said: “We must be good commanders and good combatants.” CGN owns a 33.5pc stake in the £22.5bn Hinkley Point C project in Somerset where it has partnered with EDF, the French energy giant. Mr Changli’s appointment at CGN is likely to raise eyebrows in Westminster and stoke speculation that the civil nuclear company will be merged with CNNC.
Telegraph 1st Aug 2020 read more »
The French market watchdog has levelled a £4.5m fine against energy giant EDF for misleading investors about the cost of the Hinkley Point C nuclear project. Regulators say the French state-owned energy company spread “false information” about its agreement with the Government to build the nuclear plant near Burnham-On-Sea. AMF, France’s financial markets authority, says the company may have set EDF’s share price “at an abnormal or artificial level” by claiming in a news release dated October 2014 that the terms of its deal with the UK government were “unchanged” from the 2013 agreement.
Bunham-on-sea.com 1st Aug 2020 read more »
After almost four years of building, the U.K.’s biggest nuclear plant is 38% complete. The project is Electricite de France SA’s Hinkley Point C, the U.K.’s first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years. It’s now facing delays as the coronavirus pandemic hampered work on-site and hit supply chains. It’ll take 50 million hours of work to transform the site, that’s the size of 245 soccer fields, into a power station big enough to generate electricity for six million homes by 2025. The project in southwest England will use 208,000 tons of steel reinforcement, that’s enough to lay railway tracks from London to Rome. The engineers use tablets to consult 3D models rather than relying on traditional paper drawings. EDF hired gaming experts to help with the design process, reminiscent of the computer game Minecraft, said Sarah Williamson, technical director for the project. The rectangle swimming pool shape known as the “core catcher” is a safety feature designed to prevent a Fukushima-type disaster happening. The reactor buildings at the Japanese plant flooded in 2011, causing a nuclear meltdown and radiation to be released into the atmosphere. In the event of a crisis, a computer command will start a process to melt the nuclear core funneling the liquid into the pool where it’s mixed with concrete, that sets and then can’t escape into the atmosphere. The reactor would be destroyed but the surrounding area kept safe.
Bloomberg 1st Aug 2020 read more »