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Chinese involvement is entrenched in Britain’s nuclear power plans

  In this week’s Gossage Gossip, our columnist discusses whether the
UK’s recent ban on China’s involvement in nuclear power came a little
too late. It has become clear that, for national security reasons
safeguarding the electricity system, the Government has decided to minimise
the amount of direct Chinese involvement in new nuclear construction. While
China was originally welcomed with open arms, the idea now is to kick the
Chinese out from their projected 40% funding of Sizewell C, and block
entirely the concept of a 100% Chinese reactor at Bradwell B.

But might this be a case of shutting the stable doors well after the horses have
bolted? For instance, it seems that the special constabulary force who
police Britain’s 10 civil nuclear sites do so using surveillance cameras
produced by a Chinese state-backed firm called Hikvision. This firm has
been sanctioned under export and investment restrictions by the US
government and is implicated in human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Due to the
sensitivity of their work, unlike regular British police forces, frontline
officers may be routinely armed. But it won’t stop their every move being
monitored by the camera manufacturers.

A major worry regarding Sizewell C
is reliable accessibility to copious amounts of cooling water, a growing
problem in dry East Anglia. The local supplier, Essex and Suffolk Water,
are statutorily bound to provide water on demand to all households – but
has no such obligations for non-residential establishments. All they can
offer is ‘best endeavours’ to supply. And who owns this water company?
Step forward Li-Ka Shing. His company, CK Group, also owns UK Power
Networks, just about the largest electricity distribution company in
Britain. Li-Ka Shing happens to be not just one of the richest men in
China, but also an industrialist known to be very close to President Xi.
Prospective constructor Electricité de France has been instructed to cost
out just how much more heavy dependence upon desalination of North Sea
water will add to their overheads, already upwards of £21 billion.

 

 Electrical Review 26th May 2022

May 28, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, UK

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