UK starts re­view of CGN’s nu­clear re­ac­tor de­sign

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­

China Gen­eral Nu­clear Power Corp said the Bri­tish govern­ment has started an as­sess­ment of the­com­pany’s plan to build a nu­clear power plant at Brad­well in south­east­ern Eng­land.

The Bri­tish govern­ment asked nu­clear reg­u­la­tors on Tues­day to be­gin the Generic De­sign As­sess­ment of CGN’s de­sign — the Hua­long One re­ac­tor — a process that in­dus­try ex­perts ex­pect to take about five years.

The com­pany is con­fi­dent that Hua­long One will meet the United King­dom’s strin­gent safety, se­cu­rity and de­sign re­quire­ments, said Mao Qing, the project man­ager at CGN re­spon­si­ble for Hua­long One’s as­sess­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Joseph Ja­co­belli, a se­nior an­a­lyst with Asia util­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture re­search at Bloomberg In­tel­li­gence, there are high chances the Hua­long One re­ac­tor will pass UK’s strict ap­proval process.

“Given the vast ex­pe­ri­ence of CGN in build­ing nu­clear fa­cil­i­ties in China and the im­por­tance of the project, there should be a rea­son­able chance that the pa­ram­e­ters are met, al­beit some ad­just­ments may be re­quired,” said Ja­co­belli.

“CGN has strong am­bi­tions in many other ju­ris­dic­tions. So if the plant faces hic­cups, there is a rep­u­ta­tional risk which could af­fect the com­pany’s bids for other projects in other coun­tries,” he said. He Yu, chair­man of CGN, said in­vest­ing in Brad­well will also lead to more coun­tries hav­ing con­fi­dence in the Chi­nese re­ac­tor and will push for­ward its global mar­ket devel­op­ment.

The costs of the as­sess­ment will be cov­ered by CGN and Elec­tricite de France SA, which formed a joint ven­ture called Gen­eral Nu­clear Ser­vices to de­velop the Brad­well plant, and fund and de­sign the re­ac­tor.

Jesse Nor­man, UK en­ergy min­is­ter, said the UK wel­comed CGN’s in­vest­ment in the GDA process.

“The nu­clear in­dus­try in the UK is sub­ject to a strin­gent reg­u­la­tory regime to en­sure se­cu­rity and mit­i­ga­tion of any po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal detri­ment.”

He Yu, CGN’s chair­man

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