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Nuke power to the People's Republic; CHINA TO RUN OUR POWER PLANTS.

Byline: Edited by CITYDESK GRAHAM HISCOTT

GGEO th GEORGE Osborne has given China the green light to control the UK's nuclear future.

The Chancellor yesterday confirmed plans to allow Chinese companies to buy a big stake in this country's new nuclear power stations.

The first, the PS14billion Hinkley Point project in Somerset, could be announced next week.

But it could herald the first of many such deals involving Asian companies.

a Energy Secretary Ed Davey recently predicted a "massive" wave of investment in nuclear and other technology from China, Japan and South Korea.

KWhile that means the UK being increasingly reliant on foreign firms, in reality that is already the case.

y x Four out of the Big Six energy suppliers are controlled from abroad, whether that be Germany, France or Spain. And one of those - EDF - is set to go into partnership with a Chinese company to construct the Hinkley Point plant.

However, the Government is braced for a backlash over the project as it could drive up energy bills.

Customers will help foot the bill because EDF is likely to be promised around double the wholesale cost of electricity to persuade it to even start the work. Osborne defended the Chinese deal, saying: "Today is another demonstration of the next big step in the relationship between Britain and China - the world's oldest civil nuclear power and the world's fastest growing civil nuclear power.

"It is an important potential part of the Government's plan for developing the next generation of nuclear power in Britain."

The Treasury also insisted the link-up would allow British companies such as engineering giant Rolls-Royce to benefit from China's multibillion-pound civil nuclear programme.

lcntmn anHCw EDF has been negotiating with three Chinese nuclear giants on the Hinkley C project - CGN, CNNC and SNPTC - all of which have been seen by the Chancellor this week.

Hinkley C in Somerset is due to be the UK's first new nuclear power station since 1995.

Friends of the Earth director of policy and campaigns Craig Bennett said the nuclear agreement was "a bad deal for taxpayers".

He added: "The Government has chosen to give enormous long-term handouts to Chinese and French when they could be developing a world-class renewable industry in the UK."
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Title Annotation:Business; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 18, 2013
Words:374
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