Construction work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant is continuing around the clock for what is seen as a high-profile example of international clean energy cooperation among Britain, France and China. More than 1,900 men and women are involved in the building project on the Bristol Channel. The busy site is a sign that the UK is on track to secure its future energy security, despite the EDF announcement in July of potential risks of delay and budget overruns. China General Nuclear Power Corp－or CGN－is investing 6 billion pounds ($7.74 billion) into Hinkley, which is one-third of the 18-billion-pound project. The deal was signed between the Chinese and French partners in October 2015 during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK. It received formal approval by the British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May in September 2016. Hinkley Point C’s lead investor, the French utility company EDF, remains confident about the project’s ability to deliver. It says CGN will bring valuable experiences to help Hinkley stick to time and budget. Hinkley program can also learn from China’s Taishan nuclear power station, which involves two reactors built by EDF and CGN using the same technology－the European Pressurized Reactor, said Richard Mayson, a senior director at EDF. Construction on the Taishan power station in China’s Guangdong province is expected to be completed in 2018, marking the world’s first power station using the EPR and giving a stamp of confidence to this technology. The role that CGN is playing in the Hinkley project “is not a hands-off investor”, said Mayson. CGN’s contribution also includes its technical and program implementation strength, he added. EDF and CGN are also collaborating on the Bradwell B nuclear plant, a planned project in Essex in which CGN is the majority investor, and will build with Hua-long Pressurized Reactor 1000 (known as HPR1000)－China’s indigenous third-generation technology.
China Daily 1st Sept 2017 read more »