China and UK forge nuclear plan
Collaboration between Chinese and British nuclear industry companies and organizations is gaining traction as British regulators assess China's Hualong One reactor.
These collaborations pave the way for British nuclear supply chain companies' further entry into Hualong One's procurement process, meaning they will benefit from Hualong One's use in the UK and other markets.
Zheng Dongshan, senior vice-president of China General Nuclear, addressing about 500 nuclear industry participants on Tuesday in London at this year's Civil Nuclear Showcase in London, said: "CGN highly values the collaboration with the UK supply chain."
"Supply chain collaboration also ensures the Sino-British partnerships can succeed in both the UK and China as well as in third markets," Zheng said.
Last year CGN signed an agreement with France's EDF to invest in three UK nuclear plants: Hinkley Point C, Sizewell and Bradwell. CGN intends to use Hualong One technology at Bradwell, which could be the first nuclear plant to use Chinese technology in a developed economy. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell will use French technology.
The process to assess Hualong One's core component, the HPR1000 reactor, started in January and is expected to take five years. The assessment is formally known as the Generic Design Assessment.
Many British companies are supporting China's CGN to go through the assessment process, including British engineering company Amec Foster Wheeler, which sent a team to Shenzhen last year to help CGN produce the Preliminary Safety Report for the HPR1000 reactor, part of the GDA assessment.
Clive White, president of Clean Energy Europe Business at Amec Foster Wheeler, said: "We have secured every opportunity we have sought with CGN in connection with the proposed Bradwell project and we hope this leaves us well placed to win further work as the project develops."
The UK's Nuclear Industry Association is also working with the China Nuclear Energy Association to help each other understand their respective market's nuclear landscape, by translating a booklet outlining this background information into each other's language.
Peter Haslam, head of policy at the Nuclear Industry Association, said: "For China's technology to gain GDA approval, it is important for the Chinese nuclear company to understand not just the UK's nuclear regulations but also how things work in the UK." He added that the translated documents are a key step in facilitating this understanding.
David Orr, executive vice-president of nuclear business development at Rolls-Royce, said his team is working with Chinese nuclear firms CGN, China National Nuclear Corp and China Power Investment Corporation to "ensure that the safest and most competitive nuclear power technology can be developed globally".
Last year the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory and China National Nuclear Corp jointly established the UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Centre.
"We continue to believe that Chinese investment in the UK nuclear sector is of great importance," said Adrian Bull, director of external relations of the National Nuclear Laboratory.