Chinese investment in UK power plants gives British companies much more than a chance to make money
Chinese nuclear power companies are fast making inroads into investing in the UK's nuclear programs as a key step for the internationalization of Chinese nuclear technology.
No formal investment has yet being made, but Chinese nuclear firms are in discussions with various companies, research centers and organizations in the United Kingdom to explore details on how to localize its technology for the UK market.
These discussions are exciting from the perspective of firms in the UK nuclear supply chain because not only can they win more contracts from the UK's nuclear plant building program, they may also potentially become involved as a part of the Chinese nuclear technology supply chain in other markets internationally.
From the perspective of the Chinese firms, gaining a foothold in the UK nuclear market means added credibility for their technology. The ability to build a local supply chain in the UK can also reduce the costs of its nuclear exports to Britain.
China has the world's largest nuclear plant building program, with 21 nuclear power reactors operating at eight separate sites and a further 28 under construction.
The extensive project experience of Chinese firms has led them to expand abroad, and the initiatives have been strongly supported by Beijing this year, as the National Development and Reform Commission has made nuclear internationalization a strategy.
One major milestone for the export of Chinese nuclear technology happened in December, when China National Nuclear Company's ACP1000 nuclear power reactor passed the Generic Reactor Safety Review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.