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Uncertainty on how UK will exclude Chinese involvement in Sizewell and Bradwell nuclear projects

China set to be banned from investing in the UK’s nuclear power stations on security grounds – leaving a huge financial gap which may be plugged by pension funds.

Chinese investment in Britain’s next generation of nuclear power stations is set to be banned on security grounds, leaving a multi-billion pound funding hole in the plans……

The Government has committed to making a final investment decision on at least one large nuclear project during this parliament.

Officials are understood to be keen to publish a decision on the future of Sizewell C ahead of next month’s spending review and the UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November.

A senior industry source said: ‘The Chinese will not be involved at Sizewell. This is part of a long journey and is politically much bigger than just one plant.’     Exactly how the Chinese will be frozen out of Sizewell, on the Suffolk coast, is unclear.

They have a 20 per cent stake in development of the project and an option to remain once it is built.

CGN is also involved at Bradwell in Essex, where progress is understood to have stalled, and in the EDF-led Hinkley Point in Somerset, due to be completed in 2026.

Treasury officials have studied several options to replace China’s funds at the plant.

Sources said the favoured option is a regulated asset base (RAB) model, which has been used in other big infrastructure projects such as the Thames Tideway and requires legislation.

Last week, it emerged that Ministers are in talks with the US nuclear reactor manufacturer Westinghouse over a proposal to build a new plant in Anglesey, North Wales.

Separate proposals have been mooted for a series of small modular reactors (SMRs) to complement larger plants, including a programme led by Rolls-Royce.

A Government spokeswoman said: ‘CGN is currently a shareholder in Sizewell C up until the point of the Government’s final investment decision. Negotiations are ongoing and no final decision has been taken.’

September 27, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, UK

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