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Nuclear weapons have triggered a new geological era

NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

Nuclear weapons have triggered a new geological era, but what does that really mean ?  Inkstick Media: Peter Waring, 3 May 21, There were a few possible contenders when a working group established by the International Commission on Stratigraphy began searching for a “golden spike” — a geological inflection point marking the end of one era and the beginning of another. ………  

  from a geological perspective, no marker better captures humanity’s impact on the physical environment than the fallout from decades of atmospheric nuclear testing.

In 2019, the Working Group voted overwhelmingly to recommend establishing a new era — the Anthropocene — to record the beginning of the period where humans have drastically altered the planet. The proposed start day was July 16, 1945, the day of the Trinity Test.

The beginning of the nuclear age marks a new stratigraphic boundary in Earth’s history. The “bomb spike,” as it came to be known, represents the level of carbon 14 and plutonium 239 in the atmosphere, both of which peaked in the mid-1960s at the height of the Cold War. And though levels have subsequently reduced — as states limited and finally halted atmospheric testing  — evidence of the spike is now a matter of geological record. In other words, it will exist for as long as the Earth does. But what does this really mean for our security and our environment?

RACING TOWARD CATASTROPHE 

Humanity and the environment are now “mutually transformative — and potentially mutually destructive,” a fact which forces us to confront the possibility that the era of climate stability, known as the Holocene, has ended and that our own collective and individual actions are to blame. Apart from its prominent geological signature, the “bomb spike” is also emblematic of the so-called Great Acceleration, the exponential growth in various metrics of human activity since the mid-twentieth century, which include: population, technology, economic development, industrial output, energy consumption, carbon emissions, and international tourism. These measures have been thrust ever upwards by the spread of extractive capitalism, endless technological innovation, and an underlying assumption that somehow the realm of human activity exists outside and separate from nature. Today, we are not witnessing the failure of this world view. Rather, we are witnessing the consequences of its success.

Nuclear arsenals are regularly justified as a bulwark against threats to the postwar, liberal international order. But it is precisely this global system that has served as the launching pad for the Great Acceleration. And as such, it is difficult to separate our conceptions of wealth, progress, and liberty — the very things nuclear weapons are meant to secure — from the causes of human-induced climate change. We have been led to believe that this skyward trajectory is a good thing, that all of our problems will disappear if only there were more progress, more technology, more freedom. But like Icarus, have we flown too close to the sun?

OUR WORST ENEMY

The Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic weapons, has been described as a “full stop on modernity” — or in other words, the natural terminus of a worldview that separated humankind from our environment. It is the belief that we can do whatever we want to nature and that the Earth exists to support humanity. The Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic weapons, has been described as a “full stop on modernity” — or in other words, the natural terminus of a worldview that separated humankind from our environment. It is the belief that we can do whatever we want to nature and that the Earth exists to support humanity. 

Modernity in this sense is not merely technology or our institutions but rather a mode of thought premised on a belief in human supremacy. Nuclear weapons are the apotheosis of modernity. We can take whatever we want from the Earth and we can destroy it too. Here is the intersection some nuclear threat experts have been looking for,  between the environmental movement and the nuclear movement. Between a cause with seemingly endless cultural cachet and one that appears like a mid-century relic.

The nuclear weapons industry is undoubtedly the source of much environmental damage: There are uranium minesplutonium production facilities, and former test sites. But the true impact exists on a different register altogether. It is more than just the material effects, more even than the devastating ecological impact of a nuclear blast. 

 Atomic weapons are the most extreme example of our world-possessing pretensions. Their existence and central role in our security apparatus is representative of a mode of thought that portrays humanity as the chief protagonist in the story of Earth. The Anthropocene is the point at which the plot changes.

It is also clear that on a planet increasingly defined by human activity the old dichotomies of friend and foe — of good and evil — are no longer relevant. But constructing enemies is at the core of nuclear thinking as only the most extreme adversaries can justify the most extreme weapons.  During the Cold War this was a relatively simple task, albeit one pursued with a kind of cartoonish zeal by politicians on both sides. And while there is a worrisome element of deja vu about the rising discord between Russia and NATO, talk of a new Cold War seems oddly out of place in a world of pandemics and catastrophic climate change. Yet it remains an inescapable feature of the Atomic Age that enemies must be suitably evil and suitably different from us. They must “hate freedom” and they must reject the so-called “rules-based” global order. More significantly, the enemies themselves are largely inconsequential: When they crumble or retreat into the background, we create new ones. As long as the weapons exist there will be myths to justify them. Arundhati Roy perhaps said it best:

“Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behavior. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meat hooks deep in the base of our brains. They are purveyors of madness.”

The Anthropocene forces us to grapple with this madness and to reconsider our need for enemies. It demands that we confront unsettling truths and come to terms with the prospect that the greatest threat to our security and way of life is our way of life.

ADJUSTING OUR POLITICS

The long half-life of the Atomic Age is as much the product of outdated thinking as it is bureaucratic inertia or military strategy. The scholarship surrounding nuclear weapons is held back — stuck — by a kind of thinking that belongs to a different epoch. International Relations (IR) and its dominant paradigms of realism and liberalism have lost whatever explanatory power they once had. They are no longer fit for purpose as either an academic discipline or a collection of governing institutions. They have become a trap of our own making. In fact, IR fails even to acknowledge the threat posed by the Anthropocene or the consequences of inaction.  The global apparatus constructed to manage twentieth-century challenges, such as genocide, nuclear conflict, and world wars has proved disastrously ill-suited to our new era.

This has been particularly true with regards to the supposed preeminence of the nation-state, which serves as the very basis of world governance. But it is precisely this belief — the privileging of the national above the international, of the human above the planetary — that has drawn attention away from the devastation occurring all around us. 

 Viewed from the perspective of deep geological time, the pantomime of global politics and state rivalry has been little more than a distraction. What good are states if their future consists of flooded cities, devastated ecosystems, and uninhabitable wastelands? And can states defend the interests of future generations, both human and non-human?

If indeed the domain of the human and the natural are now indistinguishable, then it follows that our notions of international security and geopolitics must change. What is needed is not more realism or liberalism or business-as-usual diplomacy but rather an altogether new way of organizing the world — a theory of IR based on the belief that the Earth itself matters. …….   https://inkstickmedia.com/nuclear-weapons-in-the-anthropocene/

May 4, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment, weapons and war | 3 Comments

Canada’s push for small nuclear reactors effectively stops real action on climate change.


Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are Mostly Bad Policy, 
“………So Who Is Advocating For SMRs & Why? Clean Technica, ByMichael Barnard, 3 May 21,

At present we see SMR earmarked funds in both Canadian and US federal budgets, $150 million in Canada and 10 times as much in the US, mostly for research and development with the exception of over a billion to NuScale to, in theory, build something. In Canada, four provinces — Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan — have joined forces in an SMR consortium. Bill Gates’ Terrapower has received another $80 million, as has X-Energy from the US DOE.

The failure conditions of small modular reactors are obvious. The lack of a significant market is obvious. The lack of ability to create a clear winner is obvious. The security costs are obvious. The lack of vertical scaling to thermal efficiency is obvious. The security risks and associated costs are obvious. The liability insurance cap implications are obvious. So why is all of this money and energy being thrown at SMRs? There are two major reasons, and only one of them is at all tenable.

Let’s start with the worst one. The Canadian provinces which are focused on SMRs are claiming that they are doing this as a major part of their climate change solutions. They are all conservative governments. Only one of those provinces has a nuclear fleet, although New Brunswick has one old, expensive, and due-to-retire reactor, as well as a track record of throwing money away on bad energy ideas, like Joi Scientific’s hydrogen perpetual motion machines. One of the provinces, Ontario, has been actively hostile to renewable energy, with the current administration cutting up 758 renewables contracts and legislating a lack of recourse as a very early act after election.

So why are they doing this? Because it allows them to defer governmental climate action while giving the appearance of climate action. They can pander to their least intelligent and wise supporters by asserting that renewables aren’t fit for purpose, while also not doing anything about the real problem because SMRs don’t exist in a modern, deployable, operable form yet.

The other major reason gets back to renewables as well. 15 years ago it was an arguable position to hold that renewables were too expensive, would cause grid reliability issues and that nuclear in large amounts was necessary. That’s been disproven by both 15 years of failures of nuclear deployments, but more importantly plummeting costs and proven grid reliability with renewable generation. Now almost every serious analyst agrees that renewables can economically deliver 80% of required grid energy, but there is still debate from credible analysts about the remaining 20%.

Mark Z. Jacobson and his Stanford team are at the center of this debate. Since the late 2000s, they’ve been publishing regular studies of increasing scope and sophistication on the thesis of 100% renewables by 2050. The 2015 publication saw a lot of pushback. At the time, my assessment of the fundamental disagreement was that the people who published a criticism of it thought the last 20% would be too expensive, and that both nuclear and carbon capture and sequestration would be necessary and scaled components.

Personally, I’ve done various aspects of the math, looked at grid reliability and transformation data from around the world, and looked at ancillary services requirements, and I think Jacobson and team are right. Further, that since we all agree that renewables are fit for purpose for 80% of the problem we should deploy them as rapidly as possible.

However, it’s very reasonable to make a side bet or two to ensure coverage of that last 20%. I don’t mind research dollars spent on SMRs, which is all most of the SMR expenditures amount to, outside of the Nu Scale bailout (which is added to the Ohio $1.3 billion bailout, which is added to the annual $1.7 billion overt federal subsidy, which is added to the annual hidden $4 billion security subsidy which is added to the $70 billion unfunded cleanup subsidy, which is added to the uncosted and unfunded taxpayer liability). Spending a few tens of millions of dollars in rich countries to ensure that we have that last 20% bridged is reasonable.

But the people asserting that SMRs are the primary or only answer to energy generation either don’t know what they are talking about, are actively dissembling or are intentionally delaying climate action.  https://cleantechnica.com/2021/05/03/small-modular-nuclear-reactors-are-mostly-bad-policy/

May 4, 2021 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear talks in Vienna make headway, as USA shows plans for removing sanctions

Independent 3rd May 2021, For months, the United States was humming and hawing about how and on what
terms it would return to the nuclear deal with Iran, as doubts were percolating in world capitals about whether the administration of Joe Biden even wanted to revive the deal.

But during indirect talks between Iran and the US over the last couple weeks in Vienna, Washington startled just about
everyone involved when it suddenly presented plans detailing how it would remove sanctions on Iran if it were to roll back its nuclear programme for both countries to back come into compliance with the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action (JCPOA).

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/iran-us-nuclear-deal-headway-vienna-b1840992.html

May 4, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

How Chernobyl’s radioactive dust blanketed Europe in 1986


Radiation high over Europe after Chernobyl disaster – archive, 1986

3 May 1986: Mainland Europe experiences higher than normal radiation, with Poland, East Germany and Sweden bearing the brunt of contamination 
 Michael SimmonsFrom the Guardian archive Mon 3 May 2021 By dusk last night, every country in mainland Europe had experienced higher than normal radiation as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Only the Iberian peninsula was still clear, as governments in East and West, having recovered from the initial panic, started to count the medium-term costs.

Changes in wind direction from the epicentre at Kiev created fresh uncertainties throughout the day. The consensus among meteorologists was that the south-east wind which had done its worst earlier in the week in parts of Poland and Scandinavia was now veering towards due east, affecting Greece, Yugoslavia, and south-west Germany.
France reported “a minor increase” in atmospheric radioactivity, while Holland reported yesterday that, for the first time since the disaster, radiation levels were markedly higher than normal. In that country, government plans to air details of a proposed shift to nuclear power in the 1990s were shelved indefinitely.

The brunt of the contamination continued to be borne by the countries closest to the disaster area – notably Poland and East Germany – as well as Sweden, which has been seeking to take remedial measures since the beginning of the week.

The Swedish authorities ordered farmers to keep their cattle indoors – possibly for some weeks – and said people should not drink rainwater or eat wild vegetables or mushrooms. One fear in Stockholm is that the wind could veer back towards Sweden early next week……..

The brunt of the contamination continued to be borne by the countries closest to the disaster area – notably Poland and East Germany – as well as Sweden, which has been seeking to take remedial measures since the beginning of the week.

The Swedish authorities ordered farmers to keep their cattle indoors – possibly for some weeks – and said people should not drink rainwater or eat wild vegetables or mushrooms. One fear in Stockholm is that the wind could veer back towards Sweden early next week…….

Italy yesterday prohibited the sale of salad greens and barred a variety of imports from northern Europe. The Health Minister, Mr Costante Degan signed an order that forbade vendors from selling fresh leafy vegetables.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/03/radiation-high-over-europe-after-chernobyl-disaster-1986

May 4, 2021 Posted by | environment, EUROPE, history, wastes | Leave a comment

Misguided funding for small nuclear reactors

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are Mostly Bad Policy, Clean Technica  By Michael Barnard 3 May 21,

People asserting that SMRs are the primary or only answer to energy generation either don’t know what they are talking about, are actively dissembling or are intentionally delaying climate action.

Like hydrogen, small modular nuclear reactors have been seeing a resurgence of interest lately. Much of that is driven by governmental policies and investments focusing on the technology. Much of it comes from the nuclear industry. And inevitably, some comes from entrepreneurs attempting to build a technology that they hope will take off in a major way, making them and their investors a lot of money.

Most Of The Attention & Funding Is Misguided At Best, & Actively Hostile To Climate Action At Worst

First, let’s explore briefly the world of small modular nuclear reactors (SMNR) or small and medium reactors (SMR). The most common acronym is SMR, but you’ll see both.

As it says on the box, they are nuclear generation devices, specifically fission nuclear. That means they use radioactively decaying fissile materials, fuels, to heat a liquid which creates steam which drives steam turbines to generate electricity. Technically, they are like a coal generation plant, but with the heat provided by the decay of uranium instead of the burning of long-buried plant matter.

There are a handful of differences between them and traditional nuclear generation reactors. The biggest one is that they are smaller, hence the ‘small’ and ‘medium’ in the names. They range from 0.068 MW to 500 MW in capacity, with the International Atomic Energy Association using small for up to 300 MW and medium for up to 700 MW.

Despite the buzz, this is not new technology. The first nuclear generation plant was a Russian 5 MW device that went live in 1954. Hundreds of small reactors have been built for nuclear powered vessels and as neutron sources. This is well trodden ground. Most of the innovations being touted were considered initially decades ago.

In the seven decades since the first SMR was commissioned, 57 different designs and concepts have been designed, developed and, rarely, built. Most of the ones which are built are doing what nuclear reactors do, getting older without new ones being built to replace them.

The Russian models are far-north icebreaker power plants being considered for land-based deployment in remote northern towns, with the Siberian one at end of life. The Indian ones are 14 small CANDU variants in operation, most decades old now. The Chinese one is coming up to end of its 40-year life span as well.

The Argentinean model has been in construction on and off for over a decade with work stoppages, political grandstanding, and monetary problems. It may never see the light of day.

The Chinese HTR-PM, under construction for the past decade, is the only one with remotely new technology. If commissioned, it is expected to be the first Gen IV reactor in operation.

And to be clear, this isn’t a technology, it’s many technologies. Across the decades, 57 variants of 18 types have been put forward. None of the types can be considered to be dominant.

Claims About SMRs Don’t Withstand Advocates for SMRs typically make some subset of the following claims:

They are saferThey can be manufactured in scaled, centralized manufacturing facilities so they will be cheaperThey can provide clean power for remote facilities or communitiesThey can be deployed onto decommissioned coal generation brownfield sitesThey can be built faster.

Safety concerns aren’t why nuclear is failing in the marketplace, economics are why nuclear is failing in the marketplace…….. .  https://cleantechnica.com/2021/05/03/small-modular-nuclear-reactors-are-mostly-bad-policy/

May 4, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Russia’s Rosatom launches the nuclear lobby’s propaganda push for ”climate change credibility” – ”Atoms For Humanity”

Thousands Join Launch Of Rosatom’s Atoms For Humanity Nuclear Awareness Campaign, By India Education Diary Bureau Admin  May 3, 2021  Moscow: On April 30, over 3200 people from some 40 countries watched Rosatom’s Atoms for Humanity new nuclear awareness campaign launch event. The project is aimed at demonstrating the importance of nuclear technologies in achieving the UN Sustainable Goals through human-centered stories.

The project launch event Why Humanity Needs Nuclear brought together Polina Lion, Chief Sustainability Officer at Rosatom, Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, Dr. Maher Aziz, member of the World Energy Council, Ben Heard, founder of the Bright New World and Sergio Orlandi and Head of Central Engineering and Plant Directorate at ITER. Heroes of Atoms for Humanity joined the event to share their experiences participating in the campaign.

The [?] esteemed speakers discussed social, economic and environmental benefits of nuclear technologies and their invaluable contribution to solving the most urgent challenges of today and tomorrow.

May 4, 2021 Posted by | Russia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Israel’s ‘shadow war’ and plans to scupper Iran’s nuclear deal

Israel’s ‘shadow war’ and plans to scupper Iran’s nuclear deal

Hawkish elements in Israel will continue to play a leading role moving forward on Tehran’s nuclear programme, analysts say.  Aljazeera, Thomas O Falk, 3 May 2021

US President Joe Biden is pushing to reinstate Iran’s nuclear deal and weeks of talks in Austria appear to be bearing fruit.

Israel, however, continues to see its security jeopardised by a potentially nuclear Iran and is trying to thwart negotiations any way possible.

The Mossad spy agency chief Yossi Cohen – a close confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – met Biden on Friday and, according to one media report, pressed the US president not to sign back on to the nuclear accord unless “improvements” were made.

An unnamed senior Israeli official is quoted as saying Biden responded that the United States “is not close” to returning to the Iran deal, Axios reported.

Israel’s opposition to the nuclear agreement seems to go beyond words, however, with Iran accusing it of assassinating its top nuclear scientist and sabotaging its main nuclear facility Natanz in a series of attacks. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.

Benny Gantz, Israel’s defence minister, said in March his country has drawn up plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran continues its nuclear escalation.

Simon Mabon, a professor of international politics at Lancaster University, told Al Jazeera that within Israel, and particularly in the government, hawkish elements will continue to play a leading role moving forward on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

“Those supporting Netanyahu’s view of the Iranian regime are steadfast in their view that the Islamic Republic cannot be deterred through conventional forms of deterrence and a military strike is needed,” said Mabon.

‘Considerable damage’

Yaniv Voller, senior lecturer in Middle East politics at the University of Kent, said Israel’s efforts against Iran’s nuclear programme – often described as “the shadow war” – are likely to continue given the positive events in Vienna after Tehran’s recent negotiations with world powers on the nuclear accord.

However, Voller said a hot war remains unlikely despite Israel’s best efforts.

“I do not think the shadow war will turn into a full-blown conflict between Israel and Iran. A greater risk is a local conflict between Israel and Iran’s proxies in the region, particularly Hezbollah,” Voller told Al Jazeera.

“This could be reminiscent of summer 2006, but with the potential to being even more devastating. Neither side has an interest in escalating the situation but, naturally, conflicts sometimes do spiral.”

He argued that, as the latest incidents have shown, Israel’s option to target the programme effectively is much broader than a mere preemptive attack.

“In any case, some of the actions that have been related to Israel and the US have already caused considerable damage to the Iranian nuclear programme, so a preemptive strike is not necessarily the only viable option to delay the Iranian nuclear programme.”…………. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/3/israels-shadow-war-and-plans-to-scupper-irans-nuclear-deal

May 4, 2021 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Steady growth of USA’s nuclear radioactive trash ( they prefer to call it ”spent fuel inventory”)

U.S. spent nuclear fuel inventory steadily increased from 2013 through 2017 https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=47796 Principal contributor: Katherine Antonio, 3 May 21, The volume of spent nuclear fuel produced by nuclear power plants in the United States has steadily increased during the past few decades. The volume of spent nuclear fuel at the end of 2017 was 13.5% metric tons more than at the end of June 2013, according to newly released data from EIA’s Nuclear Fuel Data Survey. The survey data contain information on the quantity and characteristics of spent nuclear fuel at the time when a reactor discharges it.

The Nuclear Fuel Data Survey shows that between 1968 and 2017, more than 276,000 bundles of spent fuel rods (fuel rod assemblies), which contained a little less than 80,000 metric tons of uranium, were stored in the United States. The inventory of spent fuel assemblies has grown by about 13.2% from mid-2013 to the end of 2017.

The nuclear fuel used in nuclear reactors requires concentrated uranium (known as enriched uranium), which is further processed to create nuclear fuel. The enriched uranium is encased in fuel rods that go in a reactor’s fuel assembly to generate electric power. Each fuel assembly is typically used for a cycle of 18 to 24 months.


The discharged spent nuclear fuel rods are stored in one of two ways. The first approach stores spent fuel rods in pools of water that cool them and provide additional shielding from radiation. The pools of water resemble swimming pools. The second approach stores pre-cooled spent fuel rods in a container filled with inert gas. Each container is surrounded by steel, concrete, or other material to provide a stronger shield from radiation. In the United States, nearly all spent nuclear fuel is currently stored onsite at commercial nuclear power plants. A very small amount of spent nuclear fuel, less than 1%, is stored at offsite facilities.

We collect data on spent nuclear fuel from 119 commercial reactors in 33 U.S. states. The oldest reactor, now permanently shut down, is the Dresden 1, which started operating in Illinois in 1959. The newest reactor started operating in Tennessee in 2016. More than 17,500 metric tons of the cumulative spent nuclear fuel by uranium mass in the United States is stored in two states, Illinois and Pennsylvania. New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina have the next highest volumes of spent nuclear fuel in storage at more than 4,000 metric tons of uranium in each state.

We administer the Nuclear Fuel Data Survey for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Standard Contract Management. You can learn more about nuclear energy in the United States on our website.

May 4, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear anxiety in Luxembourg – expanding their emergency evacuation plan

Lorraine Actu 30th April 2021, Luxembourg. Evacuation, prohibited zone … Here is the emergency plan in
the event of a nuclear disaster in Cattenom. In the Grand Duchy, concern about nuclear power is growing. So much so that the Minister of the Interior of Luxembourg had to explain the emergency plan in the event of a nuclear disaster.

https://actu.fr/grand-est/cattenom_57124/luxembourg-evacuation-zone-interdite-voici-le-plan-d-urgence-en-cas-de-catastrophe-nucleaire-a-cattenom_41490714.html

May 4, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | 1 Comment

Britain is now undermining the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

ICAN (accessed) 3rd May 2021, Five Ways the UK is Undermining the NPT. The NPT has played an unparalleled
role in curtailing the nuclear arms race and it continues to play a role in keeping the world safe. It is at the centre of international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, to create a nuclear weapon free world,and to enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

But the UK has now taken steps which dangerously undermine this crucial treaty. In its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the UK government announced that it will increase the maximum size of its
nuclear arsenal and reduce the information it provides about it.

Having consistently committed itself over the past decade to reducing its stockpile to a maximum of 180 warheads by the mid 2020s, the UK has now raised this limit to 260, an increase of over 40%. At the same time, the UK will no longer release operational stockpile, deployed warhead or deployed missile numbers.

https://www.icanw.org/five_ways_the_uk_is_undermining_the_npt

May 4, 2021 Posted by | politics international, UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Serious concerns about China’s role in Hinkley Point nuclear power station

Independent 3rd May 2021. Chinese investors have amassed nearly £134bn of assets in key UK industries ranging from energy companies and transport hubs to breweries and schools. Nearly 200 British companies are either controlled by groups or individuals based in China and Hong Kong or count them as minority shareholders, according to an analysis of business data. The list of investments drawn up by the Sunday Times includes Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, Heathrow Airport, Northumbrian Water, pub retailer Greene King and Superdrug.

Serious concerns have been raised about the security implications of China’s investment in UK assets, most notably in relation to Hinkley Point nuclear power station which is owned by French energy firm EDF. In 2016 Theresa May’s government briefly put the project on hold before attaching new conditions to the £18bn deal. Nick Timothy, one of
the Ms May’s chief advisers, had warned that China “could use their role to build weaknesses into computer systems which will allow them to shut down Britain’s energy production at will”. China General Nuclear Power holds a 33.5 per cent stake in the plant, which is owned by the French state-owned energy firm EDF.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/china-now-owns-ps143bn-in-uk-assets-from-nuclear-power-to-pubs-and-schools-b1841056.html

May 4, 2021 Posted by | China, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment