Ministers are closing in on a deal that could kick China off a project to build a £20bn nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast and pump in tens of millions of pounds of taxpayer cash instead – a move that would heighten geopolitical tensions.
The government could announce plans to take a stake in Sizewell C power station, alongside the French state-backed power giant EDF, as early as next month, ahead of the Cop26 climate summit.
That would be likely to result in China General Nuclear (CGN), which currently has a 20% stake in Sizewell, being removed from the project.
It risks inflaming political tensions, which are running high after Britain’s decision to join the Aukus nuclear submarine pact with the US and Australia – a move designed to counteract China’s military expansion. CGN, the power giant backed by the communist state, is also bankrolling EDF’s Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset.
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