Green light for nuke plants soon

Some new projects may win ap­proval as soon as this year, says top of­fi­cial

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

The gov­ern­ment is likely to give the green light to some nu­clear projects this year, with the Hongyan River nu­clear plant likely be­ing the first to get ap­proval, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

Sev­eral other newnu­clear projects are also in the works, the of­fi­cial said, adding that the moves would help en­sure China’s en­ergy se­cu­rity and eco­nomic growth.

Guo Chengzhan, deputy di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Nu­clear Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion, China’s nu­clear reg­u­la­tor, told China Daily that “some new nu­clear projects will start con­struc­tion this year”, de­fy­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that the on­set of win­ter and other tech­ni­cal is­sues would hold up con­struc­tion this year.

Tang Bo, another of­fi­cial at the ad­min­is­tra­tion, said that the reg­u­la­tory body has al­ready drawn up a draft list of new projects for fi­nal ap­proval and is also work­ing on the re­sump­tion of the nu­clear en­ergy de­vel­op­ment plan.

“Our job is the tech­ni­cal to com­plete prepa­ra­tion of the nu­clear sites be­fore the gov­ern­ment’s fi­nal ap­proval,” he said.

The nu­clear safety ad­min­is­tra­tion is work­ing on the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment and safety in­spec­tion of three nu­clear projects, in­clud­ing units 5 and 6 of the Hongyan River nu­clear project in Liao-ning prov­ince, the Shi­dao Bay nu­clear demon­stra­tion project in Shan­dong prov­ince and units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nu­clear power plant in Fu­jian prov­ince.

How­ever, which of th­ese projects will be the first to get the nod re­mains un­cer­tain.

Pan Ziqiang, an aca­demi­cian and chair­man of the Com­mit­tee of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp, said the Hongyan River nu­clear plant is the most likely can­di­date for first ap­proval.

He said that all the three projects are wait­ing for the green light from the State Coun­cil, the fi­nal step to start con­struc­tion. The Hongyan River nu­clear plant has been faster than the other two in com­plet­ing the as­sess­ment and safety checks from the nu­clear safety ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“No mat­ter which project gets ap­proval first, it will be a big step for­ward for China to re­vive the in­dus­try after Ja­pan’s nu­clear catas­tro­phe,” he told China Daily.

After the Fukushima nu­clear dis­as­ter in Ja­pan in the wake of a mas­sive earth­quake and tsunami in 2011, China sus­pended ap­proval of nu­clear plants con­struc­tion to re­vise its safety stan­dards.

But the coun­try is now push­ing ahead to restart and em­bark on a pro­gram of new nu­clear plants to change its en­ergy mix amid mount­ing pres­sure from air pol­lu­tion.

For­eign nu­clear power com­pa­nies are team­ing up with Chi­nese nu­clear gi­ants and de­ploy­ing their core nu­clear tech­nolo­gies in the coun­try’s nu­clear plants to tap into what will be the world’s fastest-grow­ing nu­clear mar­ket, sources said

Candu En­ergy Inc, a sub­sidiary of Cana­dian SNC-Lavalin Group, said on Thurs­day that its ad­vanced fuel Candu re­ac­tor based on pres­sur­ized heavy wa­ter tech­nol­ogy has passed the re­view by the Chi­nese nu­clear ex­pert panel, sig­nal­ing it has gained ac­cess to com­mer­cial­ize its nu­clear tech­nol­ogy.

China cur­rently op­er­ates two Candu re­ac­tors at the Qin­shan nu­clear plant in Zhe­jiang prov­ince, and both are ex­pected to be mod­i­fied to use re­cy­cled ura­nium fuel in 2015.

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