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CGN vows support for UK project

By DU XIAOYING/CECILY LIU | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-11-22 18:09
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He Yu, CGN chairman. [Photo/China Daily]

Chinese power giant will continue to invest in the British nuclear industry

China General Nuclear Power Corporation has confirmed its investment in the United Kingdom's nuclear industry as Britain's regulator began the second stage of the process to assess China's third-generation nuclear power technology.

Speaking in London on Tuesday, He Yu, who is chairman of the company that is also known as CGN, said the enterprise will continue investing in the UK's nuclear sector as part of the globalization of China's nuclear sector.

"The successful completion of the first stage of the UK regulator's assessment of our technology signifies the UK regulator recognizes that CGN has sufficiently prepared itself for the assessment," He said.

The UK nuclear authority's assessment process is considered to be one of the most rigorous in the world. China's third-generation nuclear technology, the Hualong Pressurized Reactor 1000, which is also known as HPR1000, was submitted for assessment in January. CGN estimates the process will take five years.

Gavin Edwards, Hualong generic design assessment officer at General Nuclear System, said his team takes a longterm view in taking HPR1000 technology to the UK. General Nuclear Systems is a joint venture between CGN and French company EDF that will liaise with the UK government on HPR1000's assessment.

Once HPR1000 receives full approval, CGN and EDF will use the technology at the UK's Bradwell B nuclear power station, which will become the first-ever Chinese-designed nuclear power station to be built in a mature economy.

CGN's reaffirmed confidence in the UK's nuclear sector follows the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, during which the government set the future direction for the country, which includes a focus on the development and globalization of China's high-technology sector.

CGN and EDF are investing in three UK nuclear reactors: Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C, and Bradwell B. The package of deals was signed between the Chinese and French partners in October 2015 during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK, and received formal approval from the British government in September 2016.

The first reactor, the 18 billion pound ($23.82 billion) Hinkley Point C, involves one-third investment from CGN. It will deliver 7 percent of the UK's electricity when it starts generating power in 2025.

He from CGN said: "We wish to make nuclear collaboration a model example of the UK-China partnership during our 'golden era' of relations, and under the Belt and Road Initiative."

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