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Foreign nuclear deals 'on way'

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

08:30, March 08, 2013

The construction site of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. China's nuclear plant construction, after a 20-month halt due to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, gradually resumed by the second half of last year. Geng Yuhe / For China Daily

First overseas orders for China's technology likely to be signed later this year

Officials behind China's self-developed nuclear reactor, known as the CAP1400, expect to sign its first overseas orders for the technology this year, most likely from South America or Asia.

Sun Qin, chairman of China National Nuclear Corp, told China Daily the deals should mean the start of construction of a CAP1400 reactor in China by the end of the year, after approval from the State Council.

Sun added the reactor has been approved by China's security inspector, a detailed construction schedule is now under way, and a construction site has been finalized at Fuqing in Fujian province.

He refused to disclose which nations are negotiating to buy a reactor.

Most developing countries with nuclear energy ambitions have limited resources available at present, he added.

But he said countries had found it attractive to talk to CNNC because of the favorable and unconditional credit conditions they have been offered to buy the Chinese technology.

Feng Xiangzhao, a researcher at the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, which is attached to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said if China could manage to export its nuclear technology, it could help make a huge contribution to global carbon reduction.

"Many developing nations could benefit from this and reduce their carbon emissions. This could also diversify their energy mix," Feng said.

Sun said China's nuclear power station construction would continue to develop at a stable pace during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

Its nuclear station construction program was halted for 20 months after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan in March 2011, but had gradually resumed by the second half of last year.

"I think during the 12th Five-Year Plan, China's nuclear station construction should be prudent. The pace should be five or six reactors a year," Sun said.

"Then, as its management and regulation mature, the pace could be accelerated during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20)."

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