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May 19, 2010

China Adding Twelve More AP1000 Nuclear Reactor to Existing Build Plans and China, Russia, Japan and France in Fourth Generation Nuclear Reactor Talks

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1. China Power Investment Corp., one of China’s five largest electricity producers, plans to build nuclear plants in southern, central and northeastern China as domestic energy demand surges.

China Power plans to build four AP1000 units at its Pengze plant in Jiangxi province. The project may be approved soon. Six more units may be added to the Haiyang reactor in Shangdong. The company received government approval to start work on Haiyang in 2007. The plant may eventually have eight AP1000 units, compared with six in the original plan. 2. China National Nuclear Corp. may cooperate with France on research, with Russia on engineering and construction and with Japan on safety technology, Xu Mi, chief engineer at the China Institute of Atomic Energy, spoke to Bloomberg in an interview in Beijing.

“If China is doing 10 pressurized water reactors a year, there’ll be a big economic incentive to do something better,” said Steve Kidd, head of strategy and research at World Nuclear Association, referring to China’s foray into fourth-generation reactors. “The technology could come earlier than people think, could be 2025.”

State-owned China National Nuclear may start building two 800-megawatt experimental fast reactors around 2013 and operations may start before 2020, said Xu Mi. Fourth-generation technology reactors produce minimal radioactive waste and are fuel efficient.

China plans to master the [breeder] technology by 2020, Liu Jing, the deputy director of nuclear power at China National Nuclear, said in a separate interview. The company has started an “experimental program for the fast-reactor technology for commercial use.”

The nation aims to be able to build fast reactors with a capacity between 1,000 megawatts and 1,500 megawatts each and promote the technology by 2030, said Xu Mi. The fourth- generation plants are aimed at supplementing existing pressurized water reactors because the fast reactors have “noticeable advantage” in uranium use efficiency, he said.

Liu said separately today the company has held talks with Belarus and African states on the possibility of exporting second-generation nuclear plants that can generate 300 megawatts of electricity. “We haven’t made any deals yet,” he said.

China has agreed to build two additional civilian nuclear reactors in Pakistan, the Financial Times reported last month, citing Chinese companies and unnamed government officials in Beijing and Islamabad.




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