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Technical support for US nuclear project

By Tian Wei (China Daily)

07:36, October 27, 2012

China is to provide technical support for the first time in the building of a third-generation nuclear power plant in the United States.

State Nuclear Power Technology Corp Ltd said on Friday that it had signed a technical support service contract with Shaw Power Group related to the building of the Vogtle AP1000 project in Georgia, the first new reactor approved by the US government in nearly 30 years.

The cooperation involves sending Chinese employees to the project over the next four years, with the first batch of six people expected to include planners and electrical engineers, all experienced in building AP1000 projects, commonly known as third-generation reactors.

As the first engineers to participate in the building of a US nuclear power plant, they will not only share their knowledge learned in China, but also be able to gain great experience of working on a project outside the country, said Wang Binghua, chairman of State Nuclear Power.

Shaw Group, together with Westinghouse Co, will be responsible for the design, supply and technical support in building reactors No 3 and No 4 at Vogtle, which were approved in February.

The reactors were also the first in the world to get the green light after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan last year.

The units will cost about $14 billion and could be operational as soon as 2016, Reuters reported.

State Nuclear Power and Shaw Group had initially agreed in April 2009 to support each other in growing nuclear infrastructure business.

Eli Smith, Shaw Power Group's president and chief operating officer, said his company has been working with State Nuclear Power for a number of years, "so selecting them was easy for us, because of their good reputation".

Following completion of the Vogtle project, the two sides may also extend their cooperation to others projects around the world, Smith said.

"China has accumulated great technical experience in some areas which we don't have and so we are looking forward to working with them," he added.

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