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Is it in the national interest? Chinese nuclear reactors for Bradwell, UK

BANNG 26th May 2020, The ‘golden era’ in relations between Britain and China which gave
birth to the prospect of a Chinese nuclear power station on the Blackwater
appears to be foundering less than five years after its triumphant
proclamation at the State Visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, in
October 2015.

The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) has long
voiced its concerns about the potential security risks from Chinese control
of strategic UK infrastructure, such as the proposed Bradwell B nuclear
power station. These fears have been echoed by Dr. Robert Ford, the US
State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation and
International Security, who has warned that the Chinese developer, China
General Nuclear Power Corporation, (CGN), ‘is closely linked to the
Communist regime’s military’ and urged Britain not to hand China
control of its electricity (Daily Mail, 16 May, 2020).

It is worth noting that the United states, with whom the UK is seeking a free trade deal, is
opposed to issuing a nuclear license to ‘an alien or any other
entity……it knows or has reason to believe is owned, controlled or
dominated by an alien, a foreign corporation, or a foreign government’
(Statement from US Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

Meanwhile, in the UK,
the ‘golden relationship’ is being questioned by Tory MPs, the Labour
Party and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committees of MPs. Moves
are being made to toughen up company takeover laws, to strengthen security
and to assert the UK’s strategic independence. The Government has
recently set up ‘Project Defend’ to ‘identify, the country’s main
economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part
of a broader approach to national security’ (Reuters, 22 May, 2020).
BANNG’s Chair, Andy Blowers, has written to Nadhim Zahawi, the Energy
Minister, pointing to concerns about the Chinese threat to British
industry, trade and security and urging him to consider whether having
Chinese-designed and built reactors on a vulnerable site in Eastern England
is in the national interest.


May 30, 2020 - Posted by | marketing, safety, UK

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