BEIJING, April 28 A Chinese nuclear firm has
urged the government to approve the large-scale construction of
the country's homegrown third-generation "Hualong One" reactor
to help cut costs and boost its competitiveness.
China National Nuclear Power Co. Ltd (CNNP), the
listed unit of central government-run China National Nuclear
Corp, warned nuclear's competitiveness against coal is falling
and nuclear power needs the benefits of economies of scale.
"We now have a Hualong One demonstration project, we have
units under construction at Fuqing and Fangchenggang and we just
hope that more can be built in order to reduce costs and make it
more economic," Luo Xiaowei, CNNP board secretary, told Reuters.
The Hualong One is the centrepiece of China's ambitious plan
to dominate the global civil nuclear market. One unit is under
construction in Pakistan, and China is also seeking regulatory
approval for the model in Britain.
In China, which currently has 36 operational nuclear
reactors, the Hualong One is competing with other
third-generation technology reactors for a share of 100-150 new
reactors planned to come into operation by 2030.
Third-generation reactor projects in China include the
world's first AP1000, designed by Westinghouse and expected to
go into full operation later this year, and two European
Pressurised Reactors, designed by France's Areva, in
the southeast province of Guangdong.
CNNP officials says the Hualong One, however, is the "most
feasible option" for China as it tries to scale up its nuclear
capacity and strengthen its position in the international
All third-generation technology projects have suffered
repeated delays and Zhang Huazhu, chairman of industry lobby
group, the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA), told a
conference here on Thursday that China's reliance on the largely
untested technology could pose challenges.
China aims to raise nuclear installed capacity to 58
gigawatts by the end of 2020 and it has set a target of 200
gigawatts by the end of 2030.
($1 = 6.8958 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Richard Pullin)