IPlantE News

Rolls-Royce in talks with Chinese firm over new power station in UK

6th Feb 2019

Engineering giant Rolls-Royce is in discussions with Chinese state-run firm China General Nuclear (CGN) over a deal to supply systems for a nuclear power station in the UK.

The proposed site is based at Bradwell in Essex, where an existing nuclear station was closed in 2002.

Rolls Royce’s instrumentation and controls business already supplies a large number of systems used in reactors to China, and has an existing contract with a CGN subsidiary, CTEC, to supply control systems internationally.

Recent setbacks to plans for new sites across the country, including one in Cumbria following the withdrawal of support from Japanese firm Toshiba, has meant a reassessment of the government’s nuclear strategy. All three remaining projects will have some involvement from CGN.

After concerns were raised by security analysists and politicians about the cyber risks involved in such a collaboration, Rolls Royce has tried to allay fears by promising to develop the technology itself, but doubts remain.

David Livingstone, an associate fellow in international security at Chatham House, said: "Having more trusted UK content, making sure that the plant has secure operating systems, that's absolutely vital.

"It would be unacceptable to have a third-party nation in control of critical systems. It needs to be secure," he said.

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