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Nuclear reactor exports on cards

Nuclear reactor exports on cards

Issue Time:2015-06-17
Six to eight domestically produced third-generation nuclear reactors will be exported by 2020, asenior official at China National Nuclear Corp   said on Tuesday.

Li Xiaoming, assistant general manager at CNNC, made the remark in reference to deals with   Argentina and other countries.

CNNC, together with China General Nuclear Corp, is investing in the United Kingdom's HinkleyPoint   C project.

"Those deals include not only the Hualong One nuclear reactor, but also other third-generationnuclear designs," Li said during a technology promotion event for Hualong One, CNNC's flagshipnuclear design, in Fuqing, Fujian province.

He said that 85 percent of the equipment for reactors based on the Hualong One design can bemade   locally.

The lineup of some new customers for CNNC are countries that are still underdeveloped, saidDing Jian, vice-president at China Zhongyuan Engineering Group, a unit of CNNC.

To meet some clients' requirements, CNNC must work with Chinese banks to provide financing,he said.

The company is exploring markets in North Africa, South America and Central Europe as well assome new possibilities such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan, all of which have shown stronginterest in the Hualong One technology.

The Hualong One is cost-competitive with more safety features in the global market, according toFrancois Morin, the China   director of the World Nuclear Association.

"The trend in the nuclear market seems to be building bigger and bigger nuclear power plants,and when the project becomes big, it also increases the cost," he said. "But the Hualong One ismore economical in this regard. Generally speaking, its price is about 10 to 15 percent lowerthan the AP1000 per kilowatt."

The AP1000 is a third-generation nuclear reactor developed by the United States-basedWestinghouse Electric Corp, now owned by Toshiba Corp.

Though much has been made of China becoming a major player in the global nuclear exportmarket, it   takes a long time for the technology to be exported on a large scale, Morin said.

"A key challenge is that it takes time for the Chinese company to get to know about the foreign nuclear markets and follow their regulations and policies," he said. "But if CNNC is going abroadwith another foreign company, such as EDF or Areva SA from France, it  will shorten the processfor sure."

By 2030, the global nuclear market is expected to reach $1.2 trillion, according to the WNA.

"The growth of the nuclear market in the future will be half in China and half elsewhere in theworld, so   China's success with nuclear energy is very important for other nations that areconsidering this source as a way to reduce carbon emissions," he said.