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UK to make decision about Hinkley nuclear power station by end of September

(People's Daily Online)    17:20, September 06, 2016

The U.K. will make a final decision about the Hinkley nuclear power station later this month, according to Prime Minister Theresa May during a Sept. 5 press conference at the G20 summit.

A report by The Independent noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping "relieved a little pressure on May" in his meeting with her in Hangzhou before May's press conference. The report stated that Xi promised to "have patience” in allowing her time to work out her plans for the scheme to which China's government has committed $8 billion.

May revealed for the first time that she has asked security chiefs to probe China’s involvement in the nuclear power station deal, according to a report by British newspaper The Sun.

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), one of the three stakeholders of the project, released a statement on July 29 saying that the company understood and respected the U.K.'s decision to spend more time considering the project for the sake of the country's future energy security. CGN said in the statement that they will continue to cooperate with their strategic partner EDF on this project to provide safe, reliable and sustainable energy for the U.K.

In an article entitled "Mutual trust is the foundation of China-UK cooperation--Hinkley Point is a test of mutual trust between China and Britain," China's ambassador to the U.K., Liu Xiaoming, defended China’s 30-year record of safe operation of nuclear facilities.

"I've been clear we will be continuing that global strategic partnership with China. It is a golden era of relations between China and the U.K.," May emphasized.

The Independent reported that under the current deal, which is yet to be signed, the Chinese would contribute funds toward building two reactors at Hinkley Point in a scheme led by French firm EDF. The deal also states that China General Nuclear Power Group is to finance a third of the new Hinkley Point C reactors, which was first announced in October 2013. The company may later build a Chinese-designed nuclear power station in Essex.

Liu also wrote in his article that Hinkley Point is not the result of some whimsical idea or rushed decision. Rather, it is the carefully considered outcome of a mutually beneficial tripartite partnership between the U.K., France and China. Before the three parties reached an agreement, authorities in Britain and France as well as the European Commission went through the process of research, verification and approval. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Yuan Can,Bianji)

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