UK mulls ban on China’s investment in the nuclear energy sector

September 26, 2021 07:13 PM AEST | By Sreenivas D Ajankar
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  • UK government plans to bring new guidelines that would ban China’s investment in the nuclear energy sector.
  • China has a sizable investment in multiple nuclear power projects in the country, and the UK administration fear that it could be a threat to national security.

The UK government plans to bring guidelines for the nuclear power stations that would ban the Chinese firms’ investments in the UK nuclear energy sector. The government’s plan to restrict investment from China is because of security concerns.

China’s General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) has a sizeable investment in multiple nuclear power projects in the country. The UK administration fears that it could be a threat to national security. China has a 20% stake in the £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear project located on the Suffolk coast. It also has a stake in the Bradwell project in Essex and EDF-led Hinkley Point project. These projects are expected to complete and commissioned by 2026.

The government is expected to take a final decision soon before the next month’s project spending review and ahead of the United Nations climate change meeting. Also, the UK is looking for an alternate source of fundings for the project.

The Alternative Source of Funding

The United Kingdom is currently going through an acute energy crisis after a record rise in wholesale gas prices in the international market. Also, the lack of lorry drivers has led to fuel shortages across Britain. Therefore, the government is backing nuclear energy as a future clean energy source and plans to build at least 16 small modular reactors by 2050.

It has been reported that the UK government may utilise the pension funds to bridge the funding gap for ongoing projects. Also, the government plans to use a regulated asset base (RAB) model to fund nuclear projects. RAB model is developed around long term tariffs, which encourage investment in critical infrastructure projects of national importance.

The setup of the nuclear projects might play a more prominent role in the UK’s future energy strategies as government plans to achieve a net-zero emission target by 2050. Also, nuclear projects will create both direct and indirect job opportunities in the country. As per the Officials, the government may soon take the decision on nuclear projects during the parliament meeting.


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