Starting from French reactors imported in the 1980s, Chinese engineers have developed their own large reactor systems to the point that exports appear possible from 2013.
Having imported two 900 MWe pressurized water reactors for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant, CGNPC engineers embarked on a development program that led to the CPR-1000 design. The first of these began operation at Ling Ao Phase II in September, while 16 are under construction and many more planned. A domestic supply chain has been built up with each project and now only about ten percent of components need to be imported.
By 2013, Zhang said, a further design evolution will clear certain areas of intellectual property retained by Areva, resulting in a Generation III design called the ACPR-1000 that CGNPC could market in other countries.
The current CPR-1000 design sits roughly between today's mainstream Generation II reactors and the latest Generation III units, with digital instrumentation and control systems and a design life of 60 years. Standard construction time is 52 months, and the unit cost for Chinese units so far has been under CNY 10,000 ($1500) per kilowatt
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