China seeks fourth-generation nuclear plant partners

Updated: 2010-05-19 13:58
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China, the world's second-biggest fuel user, is seeking overseas partners to help build fourth- generation nuclear reactors to meet rising clean-energy demand.

China National Nuclear Corp has started an "experimental program for the fast-reactor technology for commercial use," Liu Jing, the deputy director of nuclear power at the State company, said in an interview in Beijing before a conference. China plans to master the technology by 2020, he said today.

The world's fastest-growing major economy is developing nuclear energy to help cut reliance on more polluting coal and oil and to meet surging electricity demand. Fourth-generation technology reactors produce minimal radioactive waste and are fuel efficient.

Construction for an 800-megawatt plant has started in the southern province of Fujian, said Liu, declining to elaborate on potential partners. China is in talks with Russia and France on building the reactor, Xu Mi, chief engineer at China Institute of Atomic Energy, told reporters at the same conference.

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Electricite de France SA, Europe's biggest power producer, signed agreements with China National Nuclear and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group in April to expand global cooperation.

The Fujian venture was formed on April 28 with local partners, China National Nuclear said in a statement on April 30.

China National Nuclear holds a controlling stake with Fujian Investment and Development Corp and the government of Sanming city, where the atomic plant will be located, the Beijing-based company said on its website.