Chinese nuclear power plant near Battle of Britain tribute 'insensitive to war dead'

Phoebe Southworth
Memorial to the airmen of RAF Bradwell Bay - Dave Clarke Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

The Chinese takeover of a nuclear power station near a tribute to Battle of Britain pilots is “insensitive” to their memory, it has been claimed.

China General Nuclear (CGN) and EDF want to build the Bradwell B site in Essex, covering around 500 hectares and producing enough electricity to power around four million homes.

CGN is the largest constructor of nuclear power stations in the world and would hold a 66.5 per cent majority share in the project, which would take up to 12 years to complete.

However, the plans have been criticised as not only a "potential security risk", extending the reach of Chinese influence on UK business, but also disrespectful to Second World War veterans.

It is feared the development could limit access to the memorial on the land built to honour airmen who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain - the heroic 1940 military campaign by the Royal Air Force, which defended the UK from Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe.

This was the first major battle fought entirely in the air, and Nazi Germany’s first major military defeat.

Sam Armstrong, from the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, said: “It’s hard to think what the Battle of Britain heroes — who flew so bravely from RAF Bradwell Bay — would make of their runway being torn up and their memorial being obstructed to make way for a nuclear company owned by a state that is transporting a million members of a religious minority to modern day concentration camps.

"CGN Bradwell B is not just a potential security risk, it is also plain insensitive to our history."

CGN and EDF did not respond when contacted by The Telegraph.

The official website for Bradwell B states: "The war memorial would remain in situ, following the recent restoration work that the Bradwell B team contributed towards.

"If it becomes apparent that temporary restrictions to access might be required for safety reasons during construction, we will engage with the community first. Additionally, we will look at ways to enhance its setting, in consultation with the community."

Bradwell B was designated by the Government in 2011 as being potentially suitable for nuclear new build. It is located near the existing Bradwell power station, which is being decommissioned.

The plans are currently at the consultation stage. A figure of how much the project would cost has not been released.

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