Chinese investor to submit design for Britain nuclear reactor design soon: Source

An undated handout image released by EDF Energy in London shows a computer generated image of the French energy producer's proposed two nuclear reactors, Hinkely Point C, at their Hinkley Point power plant in south-west England.
An undated handout image released by EDF Energy in London shows a computer generated image of the French energy producer's proposed two nuclear reactors, Hinkely Point C, at their Hinkley Point power plant in south-west England. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (Reuters) - China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) will submit a design proposal for a nuclear reactor it wants to build at Bradwell to the British authorities "pretty soon", a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday (Sept 15).

The source was speaking after the British government gave the green light for French utility EDF to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley, in south-west England, with an US$8 billion investment from CGN.

"They can now invest in Hinkley and proceed with the development of Bradwell, the first act of which will be to formally submit the design of the reactor and the station to the UK nuclear regulatory process so they can get design approval for it," the source said.

Asked about the timing around the submission, the source replied: "It will be pretty soon."

Earlier on Thursday, CGN welcomed the decision to go ahead with the project, and said it is not concerned by new rules around future foreign investment in Britain, a source close to the deal said.

"They welcome the government's decision, they're very happy with it and it enables them to proceed with investment in and development of new nuclear stations in the UK," the source said, on the condition of anonymity.

"They are not concerned by it," the source said, of the future rules.

The British government had said that it would impose greater control over future deals when foreign states were involved in buying stakes in "critical infrastructure".

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said on Thursday that Britain's decision to go ahead with the Hinkley C nuclear project was good news for the industry.

CNNC chief economic officer Huang Mingang was speaking at the World Nuclear Association conference in London. CNNC is a state-owned nuclear power developer.

It said, however, it would impose greater control over future deals when foreign states were involved in buying stakes in "critical infrastructure".