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    UK excludes China from construction of new nuclear power plant


    November 29, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave his first foreign policy speech yesterday. Sunak made it clear that during his tenure, the UK will be "stronger in defending our values and the openness on which our prosperity depends. It means building a stronger economy at home, because it is the foundation of our strength abroad. And it means standing up to our competitors, not with grand rhetoric but with sound pragmatism. "Not 24 hours have passed when the Sunak Government has confirmed that it will kick China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) out of the construction of its new Sizewell C nuclear power station and from now on it will be built with French partner, EDF.China represents a "systemic challenge" to the values and interests of the United Kingdom that is becoming more acute "as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism," Sunak said yesterday.Moreover, before making the official announcement, the British Foreign Office had summoned the Chinese ambassador in London, Zheng Zeguang, to express the government's protest at the arrest and assault of a BBC journalist while covering the unprecedented protests in Shanghai.Afterwards, Sunak's Executive asserted that it will invest 700 million pounds (about 810 million euros) in a project led by the French state-owned company EDF to build a new nuclear plant near the fishing village of Sizewell, in the east of England.According to EFE news agency, the support of Rishi Sunak's Executive for the "Sizewell C" plant, which would replace a nearby outdated one (Sizewell B), represents a step forward towards the materialization of this infrastructure, announced in 2010 and delayed on numerous occasions mainly due to financing problems that still persist.The entry of the government, which will have a 50% stake in the development phase, is intended to partially palliate the exit of the Chinese state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group, which held 20% in an initial consortium forged in 2012 with EDF, with 80%.It is aspired that the construction of Sizewell C, which has an estimated cost of between £20 billion and £30 billion (23.2 to 35.This will depend on the progress of the construction, also slowed down and with rising costs, of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset (southwest England), also run by EDF and the Chinese group, which is expected to come on line in 2027.Energy Minister Grant Shapps said in a statement reported by EFE that support for Sizewell C brings the UK "closer to greater energy independence and away from the risks to supply of relying on volatile world markets".As part of this self-generation strategy, Shapps has announced the creation of a body called "Great British Nuclear" to develop multiple nuclear power projects, which will complement other energy diversification measures.EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi said that the Government's involvement "is a great vote of confidence" in the Sizewell C project and welcomed the fact that they will work together to attract more investors to bring it to fruition.

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