Chinese look for greater influence in UK nuclear programme

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is looking for increased influence over EDF nuclear power facilities in the UK in return for investment in the sector.

The state-owned group is currently in negotiations with EDF over potential investment in the Hinkley Point project in England.

The FT reports that CGN wants greater operational control of any new plants it finances, potentially creating a national security headache for the British government.

Hinkley Point
The newspaper also reports an insider as saying that CGN could seek to become joint operator of another EDF site -the Sizewell plant in Suffolk – although EDF is likely to retain overall control.

The source says the Chinese will want more input into the design of the reactors and of the construction at the site.

Mark Pritchard, a Conservative MP and member of the national security strategy committee, is quoted as saying that Chinese companies should only be able to take a “minor” role in sensitive sectors of the economy such as energy.

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