Unions raise fears over China’s UK nuclear role
The Government is risking Britain’s security by wooing the Chinese to invest in its nuclear programme, union leaders have warned.
Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, met state-backed companies in China last month to try to get them to stump up billions for the next generation of British nuclear power stations.
In the next few weeks, France’s EDF Energy is expected to finalise a deal with the government to build a £14bn nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, in which China General Nuclear Power Corp will then take a stake of at least 40 per cent.
However, China has been accused of backing cyber-attacks on overseas nations to gain intelligence. Cyber-crime has been estimated to cost the British economy as much as £27bn a year. Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, has said China is the most “sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign companies.
GMB national secretary for energy Gary Smith told The Independent that the country could not be warned about the Chinese trying to steal state secrets and then give them access to nuclear plants where they could “turn the lights on and off”.
He added that China had been handed “swathes of gas pipelines, water utilities and now nuclear power stations, so they will have the power to turn off utilities – it’s almost Orwellian”.
The unions want a broader range of regulations in utilities that would extend to the companies that invest in UK infrastructure.
A source close to the nuclear negotiations said: “This is a perfectly good question to ask, but from a security point-of-view the Chinese will not have any operational control and there is immensely robust security.”
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ukip Jelly Babies cause uproar on Amazon
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...