Energy: China Seeking Independance & Innovation In Nuclear Power

Energy: China Seeking Independance & Innovation In Nuclear Power
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“…in 2009, China was putting an independently innovated third-generation nuclear power technology from dream into reality: It set to produce three of the four scheduled generating units with the world’s most advanced pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology (AP1000) introduced from Westinghouse Electric Corporation of the United States. Based on these projects, China kicked off developing its independently innovated nuclear power technology, known as CAP1400.”


China’s existing 11 nuclear power generating units that have gone into operation apply diversified technologies. Guangdong Dayawan Nuclear Power Station uses French technology. Jiangsu Tianwan Nuclear Power Station uses Russian technology. Zhejiang Qinshan Nuclear Power Station, third stage, uses Canadian technology. And Qinshan Nuclear Power Station, stage one, uses Chinese second-generation technology.

It has become a pressing task for China to decide which way to go under the backdrop that nuclear power is surging across the world and China is readjusting its energy mix.

At the end of 2006, the Chinese government considered the situation and resolutely decided to “unify the technological roadmap for nuclear power development”. It would take the approach of introducing technologies, understanding the technologies, absorbing the technologies, and making innovations. Subsequently, it introduced the AP1000 technology, the most advanced third-generation nuclear power technology. SNPTC was established in May 2007, working as a main force for the purpose.”

To promote independent development of the third-generation nuclear power technology, China has earmarked 13.1 billion yuan. One third of the funds are used for absorbing the AP1000 technology.

Wang Binhua, President of China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), said that along with the No.1 generating unit put into construction at the Shandong Haiyang Nuclear Power Station on Dec. 28, 2009, three out of the four AP1000-based generating units have entered the stage of main body engineering construction. So far, all the generating unit projects are going smoothly. The Sanmen Nuclear Power Station is scheduled to generate electric power with its first generating unit in August 2013. Haiyang Nuclear Power Station is to follow suit with its first generating unit in February 2014.

It is beyond example to turn maps into reality. However, Chinese engineers have managed to master five core technologies in the course of absorbing the introduced nuclear power technology. They are the nuclear island safety shell, module, main line, large-scale forged piece, and one-time integral casting of cement for nuclear island raft foundation.

Wang said that China has been able to locally produce 55 percent of the equipment under key technologies.”