Nu­clear Mile­stones

China’s nu­clear in­dus­try shifts from mil­i­tary to civil­ian use over the last 40 years

Beijing Review - - NATION - By Li Nan

The year 2018 marks the 63rd an­niver­sary of China’s nu­clear in­dus­try, which be­gan in Jan­uary 1955, when late leader Mao Ze­dong an­nounced the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to de­velop atomic en­ergy as a form of self-de­fense. In the last 40 years, the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy was not only car­ried out in the eco­nomic sec­tor, but also in this crit­i­cal in­dus­try.

“China’s nu­clear prac­ti­tion­ers, rid­ing the wave of re­form and open­ing up, ren­o­vated the in­dus­try and shifted it to dual-use tech­nol­ogy that has both civil­ian and mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions,” said Yu Jian­feng, Pres­i­dent of China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp. (CNNC), which built the first nu­clear plant on the Chi­nese main­land, at a press con­fer­ence on the com­pany’s devel­op­ment in the past four decades on Novem­ber 15 in Bei­jing.

Start­ing point

In 1958, the China In­sti­tute of Atomic En­ergy (CIAE), China’s largest nu­clear re­search arm, built the first ex­per­i­men­tal heavy wa­ter re­ac­tor and the first cy­clotron, also known as the First Re­ac­tor and First Cy­clotron (FRFC). “The FRFC played a cru­cial role in the in­ven­tion of China’s first atomic and hy­dro­gen bombs and nu­clear-pow­ered sub­ma­rine,” Yu said.

“The FRFC ush­ered in an era of atomic en­ergy in China, driv­ing its nu­clear sec­tor and leav­ing a splen­did chap­ter in the his­tory of China’s nu­clear tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment,” said Wan Gang, head of CIAE, at the open­ing cer­e­mony of an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on science and tech­nol­ogy co­op­er­a­tion in Bei­jing on Au­gust 30.

More than 200 Chi­nese and for­eign ex­perts—in­clud­ing Mikhail Chu­dakov, Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) and se­nior ex­ec­u­tive with the China Atomic En­ergy Au­thor­ity and Cnnc—took part in the fo­rum to ex­change views on nu­clear tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Wan, the re­ac­tor and cy­clotron have been in op­er­a­tion for 49 and 26 years, re­spec­tively, re­sult­ing in more than

The re­ac­tor dome of the No. 6 nu­clear power unit is in­stalled on March 21 in south­east China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince. Built by China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp., it is China’s sec­ond nu­clear power unit us­ing the Hua­long One tech­nol­ogy

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