17 Mar (NucNet): China’s two biggest state-owned nuclear power operators have announced a joint venture to export the country’s Generation III Hualong One nuclear power reactors internationally.
A ceremony took place today in Beijing at Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology Company’s new headquarters, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said in a joint statement on their websites. The statement said the ceremony marked the “formal operation” of Hualong International.
The new company is an equal joint venture between CGN and CNNC to develop and export the indigenous Hualong One reactor overseas, the statement said.
Hualong International’s chairman is Zou Yongping from CGN and general manager is Xu Pengfei from CNNC, according to the statement. CGN and CNNC will have equal representation on the board.
CGN and CNNC signed a framework agreement in December 2015 to merge their Hualong One reactor designs and jointly market the technology internationally. China plans to build around 30 nuclear power units in countries along its “Belt and Road” initiative by 2030, CNNC chairman Sun Qin said this month, according to China Daily.
CNNC has reached bilateral agreements on nuclear energy cooperation with countries including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, the UK, France and Jordan, Mr Sun said.
More than 70 countries are planning or already developing nuclear power projects and it is estimated 130 more nuclear power units will have been built by 2020, Mr Sun said. He said CNNC is willing to cooperate with countries “throughout the whole nuclear power industry chain” and will try to establish an integrated industrial system for countries involved with the Belt And Road initiative.
The Belt And Road initiative sees the building of a network of land, sea and air routes that will open new trade links and markets for Chinese firms as the domestic economy slows.
China has approved construction of six Hualong One reactors within the country, according to CGN. The company may build a Hualong One reactor at Bradwell in southern England as part of an agreement signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK in October 2015.
Last month the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that CGN was planning to deploy the Hualong One design for the fifth and sixth reactors at the site of the existing Ningde nuclear station in Fujian province, eastern China, while CNNC wants to use the technology in the first two reactors of a proposed project in Zhangzhou, also in Fujian.
There are three Hualong One reactors officially listed by the International Atomic Energy Agency as “under construction” in China. They are Fuqing-5, Fuqing-6 and Fangchenggang-3.
The Hualong One reactor, also known as the HPR1000, is a 1,100 megawatt, three-loop pressurised water reactor. It has a combination of active and passive safety systems, a single stack layout, 177 nuclear fuel assemblies, a double containment structure, and comprehensive implementation of “defence-in-depth” design principles, CNNC said. The design is based on CGN’s ACPR-1000, a more advanced version of CGN’s Generation II CPR-1000 and CNNC’s ACP-1000 designs.