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Hinkley Nuclear Project : A dramatic turn of events


Nu Clear News No 87 5 Aug 16  
Hinkley : A dramatic turn of events
It has now been a few days since the Government shocked the energy industry by announcing a further review of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station just a few hours after EDF approved the project.

 

Although we may never know exactly what has gone on behind the scenes it is clear that EDF had moved its final investment decision forward from September in order to bounce the new UK Government into giving its approval quickly  before mounting problems become even more obvious to everyone.

Hinkley plan

Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Roy Pumfrey said

 

Much of the media seems to think this is just a temporary pause and that Hinkley Point C will eventually go ahead, but if Theresa May gives this scheme just a cursory glance she will see that we are being asked to buy a pig in a poke. 

 

According to the Financial Times (2) the head of EDF, Jean-Bernard Lévy gave his fellow board members only two days to read 2,500 pages of contracts for a deal which one investment analyst described as “verging on insanity”.

 

The decision to review the project has been attributed by some to security concerns about Chinese involvement in the sector expressed by Mrs May’s chief of staff, Nick Timothy. The Stop Hinkley Campaign has itself expressed concerns in the past about making nuclear deals with a country with such a poor health and safety record.

 

Writing on the Conservative Home website last October Timothy said the Hinkley deal could lead to the Chinese designing and constructing a third nuclear reactor at Bradwell in Essex. Security experts – reportedly inside as well as outside government – are worried that the Chinese could use their role to build weaknesses into computer systems which will allow them to shut down Britain’s energy production at will. (5) For those who believe that such an eventuality is unlikely, the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation – one of the state-owned companies involved in the plans for the British nuclear plants – says on its website that it is responsible not just for “increasing the value of state assets and developing the society” but the “building of national defence.” MI5 believes that “the intelligence services of…China…continue to work against UK interests at home and abroad.”

 

Mandiant, a US company that investigates computer security breaches around the world, looked into the operations of just one Chinese cyber espionage group, believed to be the Second Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army of China, or ‘Unit 61398’. Mandiant found that Unit 61398 has compromised 141 different companies in twenty major industries.

 

There were 115 victims in the United States and five in the UK. The intellectual property stolen included technology blueprints, manufacturing processes, test results, business plans, pricing documents, partnership agreements, and emails and contact information. Timothy said

evidence like this makes it all the more baffling that the British Government has been so welcoming to Chinese stateowned companies in sensitive sectors. The Government, however, seems intent on ignoring the evidence and presumably the advice of the security and intelligence agencies. But no amount of trade and investment should justify allowing a hostile state easy access to the country’s critical national infrastructure. Of course we should seek to trade with countries right across the world – but not when doing business comes at the expense of Britain’s own national security. http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo87.pdf

 

August 5, 2016 - Posted by | politics, UK

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