Xinhua, China’s government-owned news agency, is urging the British government to go ahead with plans for Britain’s first nuclear power plant in two decades. The U.K. government, under new Prime Minister Theresa May, has delayed a decision on the $25 billion project, Hinkley, saying it needs more time to consider ‘all component parts.’
CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports
Under plans drawn up by Britain’s former Prime Minister David Cameron, the French energy giant EDF would build and pay for the lion’s share of the new nuclear plant. And last year, China’s President Xi Jinping agreed China would invest 30 percent of the $25 billion costs, heralding it was said a new Golden Age in Sino-British trade.
But after becoming Prime Minister in the wake of the Brexit vote, May called for a review, indicating a new caution in government. This last-minute delay due to unspecified U.K. government concerns has rung alarm bells inside the nuclear industry.
“It was a little bit of a surprise. We’d been waiting for the final investment decision from EDF and we had that decision and it was a very positive move. And then, this review has been announced. Yes, it was as surprise,” Jonathan Cobb from World Nuclear Association said.
Xinhua, the government-owned news agency however is more direct, claiming if the British government ditches the deal it could impact on Sino-U.K. relations. EDF also said it had already spent three-and-a-quarter billion dollars on Hinkley, designed to provide seven percent of U.K. energy needs within a decade.