Project paves way for nu­clear ex­ports

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By LYUCHANG in Shang­hai lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Con­struc­tion of China’s first two CAP1400 nu­clear re­ac­tors is ex­pected to start in Shan­dong prov­ince this year, with com­mis­sion­ing set for 2018, in­dus­try sources said. They added that the project will help pave the way for China to ex­port nu­clear power plants and ser­vices.

Work is be­hind sched­ule, the re­sult of a sus­pen­sion of the na­tion’s nu­clear en­ergy pro­gram af­ter the 2011 ac­ci­dent at Ja­pan’s Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear sta­tion.

State Nu­clear Power Tech­nol­ogy Corp, one of China’s three nu­clear gi­ants, said on Thurs­day the project will help pave the way for ex­ports, a pos­si­bil­ity that the com­pany plans to ex­plore this year in con­junc­tion with United States-based nu­clear en­gi­neer­ing firm West­ing­house Elec­tric Co LLC.

“We have elim­i­nated ob­sta­cles to con­struc­tion, and the next step is to build our cred­i­bil­ity and rep­u­ta­tion over­seas with re­gard to our re­li­a­bil­ity and strength in the con­struc­tion of nu­clear power plants,” SNPTC Chair­manWang Binghua said dur­ing the bian­nual AP/CAP qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers sym­po­sium in Shang­hai.

He said some coun­tries such as the United King­dom and South Africa have shown “great in­ter­est” in the third­gen­er­a­tion nu­clear tech­nol­ogy known as AP1000, which was de­vel­oped by West­ing­house, as well as its scaled-up ver­sion, China’s CAP1400.

This could be the year that China takes a crack at the over­seas mar­ket.

“In part­ner­ship with West­ing­house, we are con­fi­dent of suc­ceed­ing in nu­clear power ex­pan­sion around the world, sup­ported by a strong govern­ment and higher safety stan­dards,” he said.

Third-gen­er­a­tion nu­clear tech­nol­ogy re­lies on pas­sive safety fea­tures that don’t re­quire ac­tion by oper­a­tors.

China has set a tar­get of 58 gi­gawatts of in­stalled nu­clear ca­pac­ity by 2020, up from 15.69GWat present.

As Bei­jing pur­sues the world’s big­gest civil­ian nu­clear power ex­pan­sion, Tim Col­lier, vice-pres­i­dent and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor ofWest­ing­house China, said the com­pany is lo­cal­iz­ing its four core businesses in China, in­clud­ing nu­clear fuel, ser­vices and nu­clear power plants.

“We will also use our ex­per­tise to help our Chi­nese part­ners ex­pand on the global stage,” he said.

Founded in 2007, SNPTC is the gen­eral con­trac­tor for the first four AP1000 re­ac­tors be­ing built in China. It de­vel­oped the CAP1400.

In Jan­uary, the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign for the CAP1400 re­ac­tor, which has a stan­dard 1.4 GWof gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity, was ap­proved by the top plan­ner, theNa­tion­alDevel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

Zheng Ming­guang, head of the Shang­hai Nu­clear En­gi­neer­ing Re­search and De­sign In­sti­tute, said that China has in­tel­lec­tual property rights cov­er­ing the com­plete de­sign of the CAP1400, of which 65 per­cent has been fin­ished.

“About 80 per­cent of the com­po­nents for the first two CAP1400 units will be made in China,” he said. “That’s very im­por­tant, be­cause it means China can ex­port its own re­ac­tors and ser­vices, as well as other nu­clear equip­ment.”

China is now ca­pa­ble of mak­ing six to eight third-gen­er­a­tion nu­clear re­ac­tors a year, ac­cord­ing to SNPTC.

The sta­tion at San­men, Zhe­jiang, is likely to have the world’s first op­er­at­ing AP1000 re­ac­tor. The re­ac­tor could start gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity as early as next year.

Four other AP1000 re­ac­tors are be­ing built, all of them in theUS: twoat theVog­tle site in Ge­or­gia and two at the Vir­gil C. Sum­mer Nu­clear Gen­er­at­ing Sta­tion site in South Carolina.

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