Pilot as­sem­bly line in In­ner Mon­go­lia has tran­si­tioned into an in­dus­trial one

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp, one of the coun­try’s largest nu­clear com­pa­nies, is one step closer to ex­port­ing its high-tem­per­a­ture gas cooled re­ac­tor projects to coun­tries in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates, with its HTGR fuel as­sem­bly line en­ter­ing mass pro­duc­tion.

The world’s first pro­duc­tion line for HTGR fuel el­e­ments started mass pro­duc­tion on Mon­day at China North Nu­clear Fuel, head­quar­tered in Bao­tou in north­ern China’s In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, said the com­pany.

The pro­duc­tion of 200,000 spher­i­cal fuel el­e­ments shows that the fuel as­sem­bly line has tran­si­tioned from a pilot one into an in­dus­trial one, said Wang Shou­jun, pres­i­dent of China Na­tional Nu­clear Cor­po­ra­tion, par­ent com­pany of China North Nu­clear Fuel.

“China is ce­ment­ing its lead­ing po­si­tion as a man­u­fac­turer of HTGR fuel el­e­ments,” said Wang.

“The HTGR re­ac­tors, best known for their in­her­ent safety, ver­sa­til­ity and mod­u­lar con­struc­tion, are a good fit for economies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive with small and medium-sized power grids.”

CNNC has al­ready signed mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing with Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE in HTGR project co­op­er­a­tion, sig­nal­ing that decades of re­search on the re­ac­tor have paid off, he said.

With gov­ern­ment sup­port for over­seas ex­pan­sion, in­clud­ing ben­e­fi­cial terms in get­ting fi­nanc­ing from key fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, many power com­pa­nies are en­cour-

China’s in­stalled nu­clear ca­pac­ity by 2020

aged to ac­quire power as­sets or ex­port their tech­nol­ogy and ex­per­tise over­seas, said Joseph Ja­co­belli, a se­nior an­a­lyst of Asian util­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture at Bloomberg In­tel­li­gence.

The In­sti­tute for Nu­clear and New En­ergy Tech­nol­ogy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity has con­ducted re­search on HTGR fuel el­e­ment tech­nol­ogy over the past three decades, start­ing with a trial pro­duc­tion line with an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 100,000 spher­i­cal fuel el­e­ments.

Based on that tech­nol­ogy, the pro­duc­tion line will have an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 300,000 spher­i­cal fuel el­e­ments, and the pro­duc­tion line will pro­vide fuel for the demon­stra­tion HTGR reac-

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