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Senior Tories Urge Johnson to Curb Chinese Involvement in Britain's Nuclear Power Plants

© Photo : EDFConstruction work at Hinkley Point C
Construction work at Hinkley Point C - Sputnik International
While Downing Street approved Huawei's role in building British 5G network, with a 35 percent market cap in late January, it was announced in late-May that the government had been "seeking new entrants" to compete with the Chinese tech giant.

Senior Tories have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconsider China's involvement in the UK's nuclear energy sector, fearing a potential grip on the nation's important infrastructure, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

China's state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), which is involved in a plant currently under construction in Somerset, is being lined up for planned Sizewell C in Suffolk, and Bradwell in Essex. 

The projects were part of a deal concluded by former British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, inaugurating a "golden era" in bilateral relations. 

However, amid criticism of China's early handling of the coronavirus and Beijing's recent move to impose new security laws on Hong Kong, concerns have grown about the country's ambitions as well.

"The world has changed. There's a strong case for saying we need to be more mindful of our vulnerabilities. I would be wary of letting China in. That's the case with Huawei and nuclear power. It is better to be safe than sorry", Bob Seely, a member of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

Huawei booth at the PT Expo technology conference in Beijing - Sputnik International
Market Access, Not Cybersecurity Behind US Push to Block Huawei From UK's 5G Networks - Official
The construction of Hinkley Point C with CGN was once reviewed by Theresa May's government and allowed to go ahead. 

As far as two other plants are concerned, Sizewell C will use French designs, with CGN helping to fund it and have an option to take a 20 percent stake. 

In Bradwell, however, the Chinese company will own a two-thirds stake and is using its own designs. 

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