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UK firm joins push to develop nuclear equipment

By CECILY LIU | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-08-03 11:12

Britain's Hayward Tyler and China's Shanghai Apollo Machinery are joining forces to develop new nuclear equipment that will help with the application of Chinese nuclear technology in the United Kingdom.

The agreement, which was announced on Wednesday, will see the companies create equipment for China's third-generation nuclear technology HPR1000 design. Their products will also be made to satisfy local requirements in the UK, so they will be usable when the technology is deployed at the UK's Bradwell nuclear power station.

HPR1000 nuclear technology is being rolled out across China, where it is being used on nuclear plants including the Fangchenggang Phase II power station in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Last year, China General Nuclear signed an agreement with France's EDF Energy to jointly invest in three nuclear power plants, of which Bradwell will use the HPR1000 design. It would be the first nuclear power plant to be built in a developed economy using Chinese design.

The UK government began an assessment of the HPR1000 design in January, a process that could take up to five years.

Lu Jinqi, Apollo's chairman and CEO, said: "Both companies have ambitious plans in the global nuclear industry and have highly complementary product lines and geographic locations."

The companies will also develop new equipment for small modular reactor design. Unlike large nuclear designs, they champion flexibility and cost-efficiency.

"With a short-term focus on Chinese SMRs and the UK new-build program, the timing is perfect to cooperate and allow our customer base to benefit from the combined capability and global presence," Lu said.

The companies also have a long-term focus on developing nuclear equipment for fourth-generation nuclear technology, which is expected to be more efficient, both in terms of construction and operation.

Although the timeline for fourth-generation technology development is unclear, commentators believe leading nuclear players in the United States, France, China, and other countries, are already working on designs.

James McNamara, head of nuclear strategy and development at Hayward Tyler, said: "We are keen to be in this industry early, to develop equipment that would fit future fourth-generation nuclear technology designs. The partnership between Hayward Taylor and Apollo means our equipment can well fit into both Chinese and Western designs."

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