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China, France renew nuclear power co-op

Updated: 2013-04-26 11:12
( Xinhua)

SHENZHEN - China and France turned a new page in nuclear power cooperation, with the signing of statements and memorandum of understanding by enterprises from both countries on Thursday.

Witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting French President Francois Hollande, the companies inked agreements on research and development of advanced reactors, nuclear fuel sharing, and operation and upgrading of nuclear power stations.

France is a major nuclear power user, deriving over 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy, while China's nuclear power capacities under construction are the largest worldwide.

Cooperation between the two countries in nuclear power dates back to some 30 years ago, when the two sides began to jointly build the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province.

Daya Bay station is China's largest, supplying electricity to Hong Kong and the country's mainland power grid as well. The reactors were designed and built with nuclear power technologies from Electricite De France, or EDF.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Herve Machenaud, executive vice president and Asia Pacific branch president of EDF, said France was the only country that was courageous enough to transfer its nuclear power technologies to China in the 1980s, when other countries refused to do so.

"EDF has become the largest foreign electricity investor in China and the country's most important international partner in the field of electricity, thanks to its cooperation with Chinese peers in technology, management as well as corporate culture over the past 30 years," Machenaud said.

He Yu, chairman of the board of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, or CGNPG, said China and France have made tremendous achievements in nuclear power cooperation.

"The cooperation over the years has laid a solid foundation for the two countries to further their sustainable development and raise safety levels in the field of nuclear power," He said.

Win-win cooperation

Cooperation between the two sides in nuclear power application has not only brought opportunities to China in developing its own technologies, but also benefited the French company in maintaining its cutting-edge position in the industry, experts said.

"China, France as well as the world have all benefited and will continue to benefit from the success of the Daya Bay nuclear power program," said Pu Jilong, former manager of the Chinese nuclear power station.

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