The US has taken steps to blacklist the Chinese firm China General Nuclear Power (CGN), which a partner with EDF energy in the Hinkley Point Nuclear project. The project, in somerset, which has a projected cost of £20bn is a partnership between CGN and EDF, the french Nuclear business. CGN is a Chinese state-owned company and this action follows a recent blacklisting of Huawei the Chinese technology firm. The US Department of added CGN to its “prohibited entity list”, which is a measure to prevent sensitive information and technology being provided to the company without approval in writing from the relevant US authority.
The US list of entities holds people, companies and businesses “for which there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests”. It is unclear what specific information the US has on CGN, but countries around the world have strong controls of technology in the Nuclear field, as well as in military goods and other sensitive areas such as data encryption.
The US Department of Commerce reports suggest the nuclear company and three of its subsidiaries “engaged in or enabled efforts to acquire advanced US nuclear technology and material for diversion to military uses in China”. CGN meanwhile is already one of the largest players in the US nuclear market with large investments in several power stations.
CGN have reported that the move will have “basically manageable influence” on the companies growth, but the actual effect of the move will probably not be shown in public as the state owned enterprise is unlikely to allow the move by the US to be seen to cause significant damage to this key Chinese business.