Sir Vince Cable
Former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable says that China's investment in a new nuclear reactor in the UK is neither a security issue nor a concern for development and investment in to other green energies.
During Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in October, 2015, it was confirmed that China would invest billions in to a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in the UK. The joint venture with French company, EDF, means that China will own a third of the business.
China's involvement in the reactor has raised concerns about safety and security, as well as raising further questions about the effect that a new nuclear plant will have on current projects in to other sustainable and green energies.
During an interview at the Chinese Embassy in London on December 9, former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) for Twickenham and Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, said that he personally helped to promote the project while he was in government, and supports the current Chancellor of the Exchequer's approach to Chinese investment in to the nuclear industry.
Concerns about security and safety stem from non-governmental organisations voicing concerns that China could have access to secure information and could hide potentially malicious software within the reactors systems that could later be used against the UK. Critics of this view say that China would not do anything to harm its own investments. The UK government also said that its own independent nuclear regulator will ensure that 'all security and other regulations are followed at all times'.
Mr Cable says that there are concerns about nuclear power but these are not related to China. Citing the costs the public will pay for the new reactor -- twice the price of gas --and other renewable energies will prove to be more important in the long run.
Another concern about the nuclear reactor is the effect it will have on investment into the other green areas by taking away investment in to green energies that are reaching a point of feasibility in the UK, such as wind power.
Cable says that there is no need for concern on this matter. The new nuclear plant -- which will not start operating until 2025 -- will replace current ones and that it will not expand Britain's energy capabilities.
Sir Vince Cable was at the Chinese Embassy at the invite of the 48 Group Club to accept an award and fellowship in the 48 Group for the work he has done in furthering UK-China ties.