'Abundant opportunities' for UK nuclear supply chain from China

31 January 2018

The Chinese firm part-financing Hinkley Point C (HPC) has voiced support for UK nuclear supply chains as prime minister Theresa May arrives in China.

The chair of the state-owned China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN), He Yu, said the development of Chinese nuclear technology created opportunities for UK suppliers both at home and in foreign markets.

“As Chinese indigenous nuclear technology develops a global footprint, Chinese and British supply chain companies have abundant opportunities to collaborate in the UK and other markets, utilising their respective strengths to achieve win-win partnerships,” he said, according to the state-owned China Daily.

May arrived in China today, accompanied by a delegation of 50 top UK business leaders, on a three-day trip to boost post-Brexit trade and investment.

China hopes to export its new reactor technologies internationally through its Belt and Road trade initative, and is in talks with around 20 countries about potential new nuclear developments.

In the UK CGN is providing around £6bn investment into HPC, the country’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation, with the rest of the funding coming from French state-owned firm EDF. CGN is also investing in the UK’s Sizewell C reactor.

China also has ambitions to export its own reactor design to the UK. While HPC is a French design with majority funding coming from EDF, CGN hopes the reverse will be true for the UK’s next plant, Bradwell B, which could be a Chinese designed HPR1000 rector.

He said he hoped Bradwell B would be a “window to showcase HPR1000 technology to the world”.

While in the central Chinese city of Wuhan today, May announced new education links between the UK and China. May has also met with Chinese premier Li Keqiang – who said relations would not change because of the UK’s decision to leave the EU – and will meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping later in her trip. 

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