‘The next Huawei’: Can Sizewell C be built without the Chinese? With UK-China tensions on a knife edge, nuclear power is becoming the next flashpoint, Emily Townsend investigates whether Sizewell C is possible without Chinese cash. In May, as EDF put forward its plans to start work on Sizewell C by the end of next year, MP Ian Duncan-Smith described it as “the next Huawei”. “With Huawei, with Sizewell C, one by one you will see the scale of dependency we have created on China and we have to deal with it,” the former Conservative leader said. Last year the US placed CGN on its “entity list”, meaning US companies are banned from doing business with it. In 2016 the US government also accused it of spying to steal technology, something it strongly denies. Dr Paul Dorfman, of University College London’s energy institute and founder of the Nuclear Consulting Group, said it was hard to see who else would invest in Sizewell if the Chinese pulled out. “The market won’t touch nuclear with a barge pole. You only see nuclear being built in command-and-control economies, like China and Russia, and a few outliers,” he said. Simon Gray, CEO of the East of England Energy Group, said: “There are other ways a finance package could be developed – but that would clearly take time, which we do not have if we want to achieve net zero by 2050.” If China were to pull out or be banned from involvement, the Government would need to balance the need for nuclear in the UK against the “huge sums of money it would need to find as an alternative funding solution”, he added. Professor Anthony Glees, international security expert at the University of Buckingham, added: “In theory, Sizewell C could happen as CGN has only a 20% stake … in practice, I doubt EDF would wish to go ahead without the cushion of Chinese cash if, as seems probable, the project overruns.” Dr Dorfman said giving China access would be a “catastrophe”. Prof Glees echoed the concerns and said current political tensions with China pose “huge risks” to Sizewell C, and particularly Bradwell B.
Ipswich Star 27th July 2020 read more »
Eastern Daily Press 27th July 2020 read more »
EDF exploring options for hydrogen production at Sizewell C. EDF is exploring small scale hydrogen production as part of its plans to build a new nuclear plant at Sizewell in Essex. Julia Pyke, director of financing and economic regulation at EDF Energy, said the company could initially install a 2MW electrolyser at the site to provide fuel for its construction vehicles.
Utility Week 31st July 2020 read more »