China's Involvement in British Nuclear Power Plant Debated
British Prime Minister Theresa May will let a Chinese company invest in Britain's Hinkley Point C nuclear power center.
Some people are concerned the decision will open Britain's nuclear industry to more than investment money from China.
The Hinkley Point C power plant, near Somerset, England, is expected to cost $24 billion. The plant is to be jointly owned by Electricity de France and China General Nuclear Corporation. Electricity de France will supply two nuclear reactors.
Observers say the joint project could clear the way for Chinese involvement in another British energy project. A planned nuclear center at Bradwell, in eastern England, could be the first to use imported Chinese nuclear technology in a Western country.
China General Nuclear Corporation says it has already signed an agreement on possible work at the Bradwell center.
Only a few countries, such as Pakistan, use Chinese reactors. However, approval of the Bradwell B project would be important. British approval of a Chinese designed reactor could open doors for Chinese nuclear exports to the west.
Prime Minister Teresa May halted the Hinkley Point project last July, and then ordered a study of security risks related to the project. However, she cancelled that decision after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the recent Group of 20 nations gathering in Hangzhou.
The British government did amend the contract for the Hinkley Point project. It put in place terms barring the Chinese company from gaining majority ownership of the plant if the French company pulls out.
Critics also question a part of the contract that provides for a fixed electricity rate for 35 years. They argue that energy prices are falling, and are expected to be lower in the future.
Nick Timothy is an advisor to the British leader. Timothy has been critical of China's part in the project and Chinese investment in Britain's infrastructure. He said, "No amount of trade and investment should justify allowing a hostile state easy access to the country's critical national infrastructure."
Others say security is important to May. However, they say she was seeking Chinese investment because of a major need to increase electricity production. The projects also represent a move away from coal-based electricity production.
For China, British approval of the Hinkley Point project can improve the country's image in an important industry.
David Gosset is director of the research group Academia Sinica Europaea. He called the possible nuclear deal, "a highly significant form of cooperation." Gosset added that it might represent an increased level of cooperation between Britain, Europe and China.
"We are now witnessing the constitution of a new China-EU-Europe triangle. It is a slow and complex process, but it will be defining the future of the relations between China and Europe," he said.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.Prime Minister 首相
This had been a disastrous week for Prime Minister Major.
2.nuclear power 核能；核动力
Electricity privatisation has exploded the myth of cheap nuclear power.
3.nuclear reactor 核反应堆
They shut down the nuclear reactor for safety reasons.
4.move away 离开；搬走
He moved away and broke off relations with the family.
1.Observers say the joint project could clear the way for Chinese involvement in another British energy project.
clear the way for 为...开路；为...做准备
That could clear the way for a wide range of innovative applications.
The talks are meant to clear the way for formal negotiations on a new constitution
2.He said, "No amount of trade and investment should justify allowing a hostile state easy access to the country's critical national infrastructure."
access to 接近
They now have access to the mass markets of Japan and the UK.
He has a security clearance that allows him access to classified information
英国首相特雷莎·梅（Theresa May）将允许中国一家企业投资英国欣克利角C核电站项目 。
与英格兰萨默塞特郡相邻的欣克利角C核电站预计耗资240亿美元 。该核电站由法国电力公司与中国广核集团共同投资建设 。法国电力公司将提供两座核反应堆 。
观察专家表示，该合作项目为中国投资英国另一项能源项目扫清障碍 。英格兰东部布拉德韦尔在建的核电站或成为首个采用中国进口核技术的西方国家核电站 。
只有巴基斯坦等少数几个国家采用了中国的核反应堆 。但是，布拉德韦尔B项目的批准将会非常重要 。英国批准采用中国技术建设核电站有助于中国打开向西方出口核技术的大门 。
去年7月，英国首相特蕾莎·梅暂停了欣克利角项目，然后下令审查该项目存在的风险 。但最近在杭州G20峰会上与主席习近平会晤后，她取消了该审查 。
评论家还对合同中提到的35年固定电价的内容提出质疑 。他们认为，能源价格持续下跌，预计未来价格会更低 。
尼克·蒂莫西（Nick Timothy）是英国一名领导人的顾问 。蒂莫西对中国介入英国核电项目及投资基础设施建设持反对态度 。他表示，“无论多少贸易与投资都不应允许敌对国家轻易介入国家重大基础的设施 。”
还有民众表示，对梅首相来说安全十分重要 。然而，梅寻求中国投资是因为英国在发电领域有巨大需求 。该核电项目也是英国脱离传统煤电的变革 。
大卫·戈赛特（David Gosset）是中欧文苑研究组织的主任 。他称这份即将签订的核协议是一次“非常重要的合作” 。戈赛特还指出，这代表英国、欧洲与中国的合作不断加强 。
他说，“现在中国、欧盟与欧洲正在形成一种新型的三角关系 。这是一种缓慢而且复杂的过程，但却能定义未来中欧之间的关系 。”