China’s nuclear industry shows potential to overpower rivals. The World Nuclear Exhibition is the go-to place to glimpse the future of atomic energy. This year’s attendees found a window on tomorrow in a location not everyone expected: the China pavilion. The event, held over three days in late June near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, brought together the biggest names in the business. But it was the Chinese section that seemed to steal the show, with large exhibits by China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power (CGN). “The biggest reaction we see from the visitors is surprise,” a CNNC employee told the Nikkei Asian Review. “They are surprised to see that our technology is so advanced and that we already have some nuclear plants under construction. It is a pity that people are so unfamiliar with our technology.” CNNC displayed a scale model of its HPR1000 pressurized water reactor. Behind it, a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor was presented as a hologram in a black box. Visitors from around the world asked a steady stream of questions. “It’s very important for us to come and promote our brand,” the employee said. “Unlike countries like France, China is still a newcomer on the market for nuclear reactors.” It may be a newcomer, but China is making waves nonetheless. As of mid-June, the country had 40 operational reactors, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency — the fourth most worldwide. It also had the most reactors under construction by far, at 17, followed by India’s seven. In 2030, China is expected to be running more than 100 reactors. And this does not count the projects it is pursuing far beyond its borders.
Nikkei Asian Review 3rd July 2018 read more »