EXCLUSIVE: Chinese Premier expected to sign UK nuclear deal

The Chinese Premier is expected to sign a deal for China’s investment in a new British nuclear power plant this week. ELN understands China’s senior politician, Li Keqiang, who is […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Chinese Premier is expected to sign a deal for China’s investment in a new British nuclear power plant this week.

ELN understands China’s senior politician, Li Keqiang, who is in the UK for a state visit with Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to put pen to paper on Anglo-Chinese nuclear co-operation.

This could include support for the £16 billion Hinkley Point C project.

China’s National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) have agreed to back the project with EDF Group and AREVA, in a consortium called NNB GenCo.

However the Chinese firms have yet to cement any deal.

The Asian superpower is building 28 nuclear plants and a deal with the UK would give it a foothold in Europe to sell its nuclear expertise.

Britain – which has not developed its own nuclear technology for decades and will rely on French and US-Japanese designs in future – would benefit from this Chinese experience.

Chancellor George Osborne signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing last October, with the two nations agreeing to help civil nuclear projects.