UK lets China buy its nuclear power stations
UK chancellor George Osborne confirmed Thursday the country will allow a majority-owned Chinese nuclear power station on its shores, as part of the government’s plans to cut its reliance on carbon-intensive coal or oil.
With the decision to allow the world's second largest economy to buy into the sector, Britain paves the way for China to take a stake in or own 100% of its new nuclear power stations, according to The Guardian.
The ground-breaking announcement, which may soon mean cheaper energy bills for British customers, could see the first deal struck as early as next week, as Chinese investment is now being considered for a new US$22 billion plant at the Hinckley C site.
The Hinkley C site in Somerset would host the first new nuclear power plant in the UK since 1995. The French state-owned firm Electricite de France (EDF) is leading the project.
In an official statement, Osborne said he believed the agreement also opens the door for British companies to participate in China’s substantial nuclear power expansion.
This is the second cooperation deal on nuclear power announced by the UK in a bit over a month. On Sept. 5, the country’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said it signed a memorandum of understanding to allow Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy company, to invest in British projects.
These pacts come as 15 of Britain’s 16 nuclear reactors are due to close by 2023.