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China confident to get new UK nuclear power plant approval after Hinkley

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-26 11:06

LONDON — The Chinese company which takes one third of stakes in the French-led Hinkley Point C project in Britain expects a new China-led nuclear power plant to get approval from the British government.

Robert Davies, chief operating officer of the General Nuclear International, a UK subsidiary of China's Shenzhen-based General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), told Xinhua Friday that he is "very confident" with the China-developed third-generation HPR1000 nuclear reactor getting through the ongoing government assessment.

"We finished the first stage of the four stages in Generic Design Assessment (GDA) and we are about to start the second," he said. "So by the end of this year we will be about 25 percent through."

The British nuclear regulator has begun the GDA for the HPR1000 nuclear technology that is proposed for the new nuclear power station at Bradwell in Essex.

Davies said the company hopes the HPR1000 to have gone through the GDA in four and a half years' time.

Zheng Dongshan, CEO of General Nuclear International, told Xinhua that the second stage of GDA is expected to start in November as the assessment process is "in general going well".

"The Chinese-developed nuclear technology's installation in the Western developed countries such as Britain is a symbol of China transforming 'from big to strong' in its nuclear power development," Zheng said.

CGN is China's largest nuclear power plant operator and world's largest nuclear power plant constructor. Countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, Czech Republic and Malaysia have developed strong interest in CGN's third-generation nuclear power technology.

Mao Qing, CGN's chief technical officer in Britain, said the China-developed third-generation nuclear reactor, is both mature and economically-efficient.

Responding to media reports that the Hinkley Point C project is over budget and a year behind schedule, senior officials with the Chinese nuclear power plant builder all shrugged off the concerns.

"Since the project is still in the preliminary stage, it is still too early to say that there will be an extra investment and delay," Zheng said.

Davies said even though there is "a little bit of learning and settling down", the project is "doing extremely well" and "in full gear".

The veteran nuclear expert told Xinhua that China's nuclear technology is top-notch worldwide.

"China is leading because it is building," Davis said. "The only way to bring cost-effective nuclear to a country is by building fleets of reactors."

Britain has closed some 25 percent of all its power station since 2010 as the country is going through a process trying to decarbonize its economy.

"It needs to have new generation assets which give cost-effective, low-carbon energy with security supply," Davies said. "China is bringing stability, experience to help these projects to be successful."

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