Published:
August 12, 2016
Fresh doubts hang over Hinkley Point C after espionage claims

Fresh doubts are hanging over the £18bn project to build Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea this week after damning allegations that Chinese firms are involved in espionage.

First it emerged that Britain’s Chinese partner in the project, China General Nuclear Power (CGN), has been accused in the US of trying to steal nuclear research secrets.

Then Australia announced that it was blocking bidders from China and Hong Kong from taking a controlling stake in its largest electricity network due to national security concerns.

The revelations increased fears for the future of the £18billion Hinkley Point scheme and new calls were made for Theresa May to scrap the deal.

The Prime Minister has already delayed a decision on the project. According to reports, CGN is accused of planning to steal nuclear secrets to bypass research hurdles in a plot the US claims threatened its national security.

Court documents show that Szuhsiung Ho, a Chinese-born US citizen also known as Allen Ho, 66, is alleged to have recruited six US-based experts to help China develop its technology.

The Hinkley deal came under fierce scrutiny when Mrs May paused the decision hours after the board of EDF, the French state-owned firm overseeing the project, gave it the go ahead last month.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said Mrs May should cancel the Hinkley project, adding: "These revelations are deeply worrying and add one more concern to the deep fog of uncertainty surrounding this utterly flawed project."

Molly Scott Cato, a Green Party MEP, said: "These latest revelations must be the final nail in the coffin for Hinkley."

And Paul Dorfman, a senior research fellow at University College London, said Mrs May had nothing to lose if she pulled out of the deal. No other [highly developed] country would let China into its critical nuclear infrastructure, given its history of nuclear weapon proliferation."

"May has already taken the diplomatic 'hit' for this, so what’s she got to lose?’

 

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